AOCRA State Marathon Titles

15 April 2007

PDs – 4th, Women Short Course
PDs -7th, Mens Short Course
PDs -2nd, Masters Women Long Course
PDs – 5th, Women Long Course
PDs – 4th, Mens Long Course


Race Report
by Steph Jaques

It’s with great pleasure that I can announce the PDs were flying a fabulous orange flag at the OC State Marathon Titles this weekend, as we competed with the "best of the best" and over the longest distances of the season.

SC Women – 4th just behind Sydney. Congrats to Joanne on her 1st race, Nicola and Lisa on their 2nd. Awesome result girls as you powered down the last straight!
SC Men – 7th winning a major tussle with Bay and Koa Kai in the last 1 km of the race.

LC Master Women – a whopping 2ND following a nightmare 8 kms race-off with Sydney, and a legendary "1k" finish. Bagging the first silver medal for State Marathons.
LC Open Women – 5th just behind the nemesis Eastern Suburbs and out-racing Sydney Opens.

LC Open Men – fielding 2 crews and showing increasing the depth of the OC lads! Achieving a stunning 4th by out-witting Cronulla at the last buoy and powering home in front. The crowd did roar!

The Day

2 canoes, 1 trailer and a bunch of sleepy PDs. How to get everything together in time to race? Send in the "legend" (Leslie), add the "SMarty" and mixed with a coffee cart – and hey presto – ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

Suitably attired (thanks Matt!), tagged and watered (we sound like a bunch of cattle…) the SC Chicks and lads lined up on the start. Sensibly picking the shore-side of the course, the crews battled for a leading position. SC Men battling with anything around them – including the SC chicks – who survived – but Te Ika Nui were not quite so fortunate in their choice of diagonal line……

PDs found themselves at the front of the pack with everyone chasing them for a position around the buoy – unlucky for them. Strong racing with some swell found crews jostling for a better position as Sydney made a dash for 3rd over the SC chicks. A second turn and finish was in view (well a few kms away), and both crews powered home. Smiles all round.

Next up – 2 LC chicks split into Masters (old ducks) and Opens (youthful chicks). Strategically done to get more points and cover 2 categories, but more because it’s the last time the girls can paddle as masters as the age goes up. A successful start off the line meant that the 3 teams (including the PD Masters) launched into mid-air over a set of waves to become leaders of the pack. Caused Andrew to fall off Zeus’ paddle board in surprise. No bingles and the pack head towards the first buoy where 3 teams ( incl PDs) round it together with an inch to spare. Crews paddled down the very long course, each wondering when the lead boat will actually stop. Personally I feel we’ll end up in Newcastle before we turn around! Meanwhile Sydney Masters catch up with PD Masters and it’s a battle to the 2nd turn. Sydney in first but seem to stuff up, so PDs out first. Game on as the 2 teams have to race for the next 8 kms side by side. Behind us we see PD Open team catching up with Eastern Suburbs. 25mins later Masters are still retaining a position in front of Sydney through some swell-riding and sheer determination. And then it’s the 1k finish and the chicks lift and take off. Everyone’s knackered but on a mission….and result – 2nd place by a few boat lengths in front of Sydney. Couldn’t stop smiling, after the lads helped us out of the canoe. Over the line come the PD opens crew a minute in front of the Sydney opens crew. Good on ya girls.

Next up – the lads. A large number of mens crews saw canoes packed together on the start line. With the flag being raised canoes rushed to the 1st buoy. The orange Dungara at the front of the pack with our PD men. There was a bingle and suddenly we saw a couple of canoes stopped in the middle. OMG it’s the Migee with the other PD lads! Turns out they were a PD sandwich and squashed between 2 crews unable to move. Then off they go again. Now I’ll cut to the finish as the lads went off into the distance for 1 hr and 20 mins and everyone fed their faces with yummy food and enjoyed the sun 😉

So……here comes the mens crews and we see PDs 1 crew neck-and-neck with Cronulla 2. They are gunning it. We groan as Cronulla have the inside line on approaching the last turn. But Geoff executes a PERFECT tactical move and cuts behind them, and the lads absolutely power out of a turn to take the lead. The crowd goes wild and the lads sail over the line in 4th in front of Cronulla. We cheer in the PD2 crew as they finish the 21 km race in 1 39 min. Champagne flows for the end of a successful day……….

For the girls this is the end of the season as PDs are not going to Hamo this year……………and I would like to thank everyone was has raced at one of the regattas this year for making it a fun and successful year. Please join me in wishing our 2 PD Mens crew the very best as they race at Coffs Harbour later this month in the OC Nationals Titles.

A special note of THANKS must be given to our 2 OC race coordinators – Leslie (Legend) and Lee – who have done a brilliant, awesome and FANTASTIC job organising our regattas this year. There’s so much that goes into organising the PD rabble for an event and Lee and Leslie made it look easy. Without you 2 a regatta would be a "complete mare". THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Signing off