FITTING: The Noosa boaties with the surf boat named in Phil Cave's honour.
FITTING: The Noosa boaties with the surf boat named in Phil Cave's honour. Contributed

Tribute to life member Phil's passing as boat makes finals

THE Noosa Heads SLSC sent a fleet of seven surf boat crews to contest the Team Navy ASRL Australian Open held at Elouera, NSW, over the weekend, racing from Friday through to Sunday.

The team had some extra motivation after hearing the sad news of life member Phil Cave passing away earlier in the week.

The team wore black armbands as a sign of respect and mourning and rowed their hearts out over the weekend in the hope of making Phil proud. And that they did with the recently named Phil Cave boat making a finals appearance in two divisions.

Our two masters crews, the 200+ Emus (Mick Phelan, Blair Doran, Gerard Broerson, Daryl Lester, swept by Mick Gardner) and the 220+ Condors (Steve Hatton, Mick Curwen, Jon Gemmell, Chris Beaufort, swept by Dave Tomba) set the pace with both making the podium in third place in their respective divisions.

The U19 male Peacocks showed inconsistent brilliance which wasn't enough to proceed through to Sunday. The U19 female Spangled Drongos and U23 female Flamingos rowed well, making into the top 10 of their respective divisions against the best crews in the country. Both crews showing positive progress, gaining momentum for a strong finish into to business end of the season.

The U19 female Scrub Turkeys (Natalie Dean, Maya Walsh, Abbey Whittaker, Grace Floyd, swept by Dave Tomba) showed strong performances to make the final.

An error caused by inexperience 20 strokes into the final saw them drop to last place into the turning buoy but they showed true grit and determination to row themselves back into fourth place.

This crew has completed only their second carnival as a complete unit.

The Reserve women Chums (Rachel Reiser, Erin Smith, Phoebe Childs, Sophie Gruhl, swept by Dave Tomba) started off slow, copping a battering by the surf in their first race.

"Copping a hiding from the surf in the first race was a blessing in disguise” tells sweep Dave Tomba.

"It simply made them more determined and more hungry to get the results they needed.

"Their final was flawless. The girls had an awesome start which pushed them half a boat length in front of the field. This allowed them to sneak over a wave, which gave the rest of the field a little touch-up and they never looked back.

"A little bump popped up at the gate cans on the way home and the girls took it next level to stay with it until it formed into a wave.”

Backing up from their win at Manly four weeks ago, this gives the Chums bragging rights of being ranked No.1 in the country and current Team Navy ASRL Open champions.

This weekend four U19 crews (two female and two male) will travel another eight hours down to Pacific Palms, NSW to contest the Battle of the Boats crown. Best of luck to all crews.