Port Elliot surf boat rowers kick off 2020 with strong results across competitions

Rowers: Brayden Miller, Mikey O'Sullivan and Connor Irvin have enjoyed recent success competing for Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club. Photo: Supplied.
Rowers: Brayden Miller, Mikey O'Sullivan and Connor Irvin have enjoyed recent success competing for Port Elliot Surf Life Saving Club. Photo: Supplied.

Surf Boat rowers have had a busy season to date, representing the PESLSC in local and state level carnivals.

Competition season began in December with the Open Men's Crew trekking to Robe for the annual Surfboat Carnival. The crew started off with a second place, but in following races, were hit by sets on the way out and no runs on the way home, finishing fourth overall. This was a great start to the surfboat season for the 'Fourstrokes' crew, swept by Troy Irvin and rowed by Garth Reynolds, Alistair Searle, Dale Francis and Tom Bilney. Additional crews had a hit out at Southport in January, with 3-4 foot sets running through the course. The Women's Crew rowed for the first time this season, with first time rower Brianna Williams and returning rower Leanne Farr (off a 19 year break) being welcome additions. The crew swept by Troy Irvin and rowed by Melissa Rebbeck and Tara-lee Irvin competed well for a close third place run and a second. The Open Men's and U19 rowers joined to form a crew and competed in the Reserve Grade, where they won three out of three races convincingly. The crew also swept by Troy Irvin and rowed in by Garth Reynolds, Dale Francis, Mikey O'Sullivan, Connor Irvin and Brayden Miller, unfortunately did not finish the day due to injury.

The next carnival was held at Moana and the Open Men's Crew being swept by Steve Tummel rowed hard all day finishing second overall. The Women's Crew rowing reserves in one of the largest fields, finished a close fifth overall, being swept by Steve and rowed by Tara-lee Irvin, Melissa Rebbeck, Leanne Farr and Brianna Williams. The U19 Boys were lucky enough to have Goolwa sweep Adam take them on for the day. It was also a test, with hard, flat conditions; but they won all four races they competed in. In the crew were Connor Irvin, Mikey O'Sullivan, Brayden Miller, alongside a fourth rower from Aldinga, Jack. Connor and Mikey were vying for State Team selection, adding an extra workload throughout the day, rowing in a number of different combinations with other contenders.

Connor was worthily selected to represent SA in the U19 Men's Surfboat Crew at the Interstates to be held at Mollymook. It was a proud moment for both Connor and the club. Unfortunately, due to conditions being unpredictable and hazardous at Mollymook last Friday, the Interstates were put on hold until the upcoming Australian Championships on the Gold Coast in April. It was nevertheless a great experience for Connor attending the event with the state team and still managing to row in the surf and experience the conditions.

Congratulations are also due to Surfboat captain and club life member, Tara Irvin, who has been appointed assistant manager of the Australian Surf Rowers' League SA State Team. In her time as a rower Tara has rowed at state, national and international level. Highlights of her extensive rowing career include two Open Women's State Golds, an ASRL Australian Open Gold and appearances in the National Titles Open Women's final, semifinal and quarter finals.

With upcoming Masters State Titles on February 29 and Senior State Titles on March 29, PESLSC crews will be chasing further success.