20 Beaches Race 15 Dec 07

7th Place Grant Billen (30-39 category) Time: 1.44.35
(new club record & PB)

22nd Gavin Godfrey (30-39 category) Time: 1.54.36 (PB)

Race Report by Billy

‘Twas the night before the Twenty Beaches, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The paddles were placed by the doorway with care,

In hopes the race day soon would be there;

Gav was nestled all snug in his bed,

While visions of surfing great runs danced in his head;

And Linda in her ‘kerchief, and I in my favourite paddling cap,

Settled down for an early night’s nap.


At the first sight of dawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a fresh nor-easter of fifteen knots or near,

We packed up the car so lively and quick, I knew in a moment this race would be fully sick.


To the start line at Palm Beach the paddlers they came,

The race director whistled, and shouted, and called all the legends by name;

“On, Jacobs! on Cotter! on, Dave Kissane!

This wind’s picking up, you’re all insane!”

Through the surf break and out to the start,

There was no line marked, now that wasn’t smart!

With many a paddler still getting out,

The race took off without so much as a shout.

The start well missed, my race plan was shattered,

No problem at all, ‘twas the surfing that mattered.


The backwash from Bangalley finally behind,

I was off to Long Reef and had to pick a good line.

Down the first wave my surf ski flew,

Like a sleigh full of toys, with St. Nicholas too,

Then cut to the left was all I had to think,

If onto the next wave I desired to link.

From one wave to the next I came with a bound,

So much fun as this has never been found!

My eyes — how they twinkled! my dimples how merry!

My cheeks were like roses, oh yes they were very!

My droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

The whitecaps whizzed by as white as the snow;

I rarely saw another competitor but did I give a damn,

These waves were out of control, like a Bondi tram!


At fifteen kilometres Long Reef drew near,

I’d surfed in too close was what I did fear;

The runs I let go and pointed out to sea,

Getting smashed on the rocks was simply not for me.

Straightening up for the final run home,

My energy levels were starting to moan.

The waves shortened up and got real steep,

I had to concentrate hard to avoid falling in a heap!


In the wink of an eye my ski slid up Shelley Beach,

The end of the race was what I did reach;

How lucky am I, twenty-five clicks of surfing nirvana,

I can’t help but feel I was born with good karma.

A moment later Gav crossed the line,

The smile on his face said he’d had a tops time.

We laughed and swapped surfing stories,

like a couple of right jolly old elves,

We had both done PBs, in spite of ourselves;

As we packed up the car we worked with a whistle,

And away we all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard Gav exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"What a ripper of a Twenty Beaches for all, and for all a good-night."