Dec 07, 2016
Team Bondi Race Report
World Ocean Ski Race = The Doctor Perth Saturday 26th November 2016:
You wouldn’t believe it …! The only real reliable thing is Western Australia is the 1.30pm cooling wind they call the Fremantle Doctor.
Well the basted Doctor decided to have a flexiday! Defiantly another one of Western Australian practical little jokes on us boys and girls from the East
Thus resulting in a cloudless 37 degree day next to no wind and an arduous grinding 28 kilometre paddle from Rottness Island to Sorrento Beach for all 345 + participants: Two weeks prior to race day the wind was blowing to everyone’s delight “next minute” nothing…..!!!
Well let me tell you there were no negative thoughts or falling apart form within team Bondi. Under the leadership of our team Captain Tommy Woodrift we were kept positive with a business as usual attitude. I can also say the same for our North Bondi compatriots under the leadership of Jimmy Walker and the Rose Bay / Australian Think Team lead by the ever charismatic Stewart O’Regan
Our team Captain and mentor Tommy Woodrift again did us proud finishing in the top 15: Bloody impressive given the field was stacked with multiple past and present world champions from all compass points of the globe. Not forgetting on the average he’s 15 years there senior Tommy, convincingly won the 40-50’s category and dare I say he towelled up a lot of the younger open paddlers as well.
Greg Byrne’s paddled to perfection and hit his targeted time or 2h – 10 minutes. He didn’t let the heat fatigue him. He diligently stuck to his race strategy finishing strong in the last 10k with no water left for the last 3 kilometres; he must have measure his mouthfuls beforehand? I know his a little strange but what a champion.
Only a minute after our very own ocean-man Teddy Clifford came charging home with a very equestrian dismount and a composed run up to the finishing line. He knew the cameras were on him. I was told once through the finishing shoot he headed for the water trough and drank like a Beersheba light horseman’s brumby. Teddy convincingly won the over 60 category. Again you have to join me in saying what a bloody champion he is.
Following up was our new addition John Ratcliff (JR) as like Greg Byrne’s he finished strong and hit his targeted time of 2h-15minutes. Another champion in the making I say. I can’t wait to see him giddying- up around the can’s wearing our blue and white. I know Tommy has plans for him, best we all watch that space.
I followed in 10 minutes outside of my targeted time coming in on 2h-27 minutes. Unlike Teddy my dismount wasn’t as equestrian as his, as for my run up the beach..? Well someone told me I looked like a grey hound rooting a golf ball. I too headed directly for the water trough stuck my head in it and almost drowned myself.
What a weekend. In the company of champions, brilliant conversationalist, happy clubbies from all over the world a few gregarious Machiavellians and some well-deserved time on your own to ponder and reflect on what a beautiful life we all have here in Australia.
So next year do yourself a favour and put this race into your calendar. We’ve got all the finer logistics sorted.
I have to finish with my usual signature: If there’s no lifesaving or ocean-sports in heaven I’m just not going. Thanks you for reading and I’ll see you on the beach
Gary Emmerton Masters Captain