Years of toil rewarded with gold
YEARS of preparation paid off for Woolgoolga Surf Lifesaving Club with its 160-years Masters boat crew grabbing gold at the Australian championships in Perth.
Boat captain Trevor Clark said the club started the campaign with a silver medal in the 200-combined Masters boat event, just before the biggest collect of all.
"It was a double celebration for Craig Schweikert, who was part of our 200 crew in the earlier race," he said.
"As soon as we'd finished, Craig had to dash away to sweep for the 160s and they were all pumped up by the earlier medal.
"It was a great thing for us both after rowing together in the crew that won the last Aussie gold medal in the year 2000."
Clark said there was no disbelief about the win considering the effort put in but rather a feeling of relief.
"It's been a long-term goal to come over to Perth and really give it a shake," he said.
"Especially in the past 12 months where we've gone just about everywhere with the boats and crews and sometimes felt burnt out from all the competition.
"There was a prepared plan for this trip.
"After flogging ourselves for months, the idea was to arrive in Perth earlier than usual and have a few days to settle down with training tapered off.
"You have to get the timing right, and I had a feeling in the last day or so that everybody was up for this.
"And the preparation has now paid off."
Nobody will be surprised that victory celebrations for this extremely dedicated entourage were loud and long.
"They reckon our mob was the noisiest at the presentation," Clark laughed.
"We brought over quite a troupe with wives and girlfriends and supporters and they decided to have a party we'll remember for a long time."
Woolgoolga's reserve boat crew will be in action today.
"Six outfits that took part in the North Coast Surf Boats series came across and all have picked up medals, including a silver and bronze for Macksville-Scotts Head," Clark added.
"It's pretty incredible when you put in all that hard work and finally it pays off."