South West Rocks’ Masters 160s hoping it’s third time at Aussie Titles

Paul Owens, Mark Notley, Chris Ward, Dave Morgan and Troy Gaddes will compete at the Surf Boat Australian Titles next week.
Paul Owens, Mark Notley, Chris Ward, Dave Morgan and Troy Gaddes will compete at the Surf Boat Australian Titles next week.

The South West Rocks Surf Life Saving Club’s Masters 160s Surf Boat crew will compete against the best in the nation at the Aussie Titles held in Perth next Tuesday April 17.

The crew enter the competition with a chip on their shoulder as they look to earn a spot on the podium after finishing in fourth place at the last two Australian Titles.

We have been working towards it for seven months and our focus has always been on trying to win a medal there.

Crew member Mark Notley

“We are heading there with pretty high expectations, we have had the same crew for the last three years and have came agonisingly close to a medal at the Aussies on two occasions,” South West Rocks Masters 160s crew member Mark Notley told the Argus.

“We want that medal and all of the hard work we have done this season is to go at least one place better next week.”

The five men have been training regularly since September last year and every stroke and competition they’ve entered has been in preparation for the national titles.

“We were always going to go to the Australian Titles this year, despite it being held in Western Australia,” Notley said.

“We have been working towards it for seven months and our focus has always been on trying to win a medal there.”

The crew enter the carnival in good form after they were victorious in their division in the North Coast Surf Boat Series.

However, the conditions got them unstuck at the NSW Country Championships in February.

“We were leading the final the whole way but we missed out on a wave that the other crews were able to catch and they put us in a bad spot,” Notley said.

“We weren’t able to recover from that and finished in fourth position.”

The Masters 160s crew are hoping for better luck at the Australian carnival but recognise it won’t be an easy task.

The Surf Boat Australian Titles are usually held on the east coast of Australia and Notley admits there’s a bit of an unknown surrounding their opposition next week.

“They (the Western Australian Surf Boat crews) don’t normally come over here for the competitions but they will obviously all be there this year as it’s close to them,” Notley said.

“The Western Australian conditions are quite different to here. The conditions aren’t as rough and it’s more flat and it suits them better as that is how they train.”

The crew are thankful for the support they will be receiving with seven people joining the five men on their journey west.