TUGUN BEACH – Accompanied by a chorus of “We Are the Mighty Mighty Vikings” sung by enthusiastic supporters, lifesavers for the Currumbin Vikings paid tribute to two historic champion boat crews at Tugun Beach yesterday.
The Currumbin Barbarians and Huscarls rowers have just won gold and silver in the elusive open Australian surfboard championships and their supporters have gone wild.
“We’ve been chasing this Open title for 10 years, and it feels really great to be a Viking with crews in 1st and 3rd,” said Lyle Clark, who won the Barbarians sweep. “I’ve won four silver medals along the way, but nothing beats gold. This is a dream come true.”
Clark praised the dedicated crew of Glen Campbell (stroke), Mack Hamilton, Nick Winkler and Randall Martin, and said he did a lot of personal training alone early in the season.
Australia’s Bully A Crew finished second behind the Haskarls after being passed by Shane Geroben on the next wave. Mona Vale, picked by Matt Collins, defeated Matt Hickey’s Currumbin Drifters and Gerringong NABS to claim Reserve Grade Gold.
The South Curl Curl Straw Hat Pirates achieved one of the close matches of the day when they won the Open Women’s. The Pirates joined Northcliffe Crankits and Manly Malachi in the same wave, but South Curl Curl had the southernmost alley and thus emerged victorious.
South Curl Curl surprised to demote a strong Manly Crew, who had been dominating all weekend, to third place. Chief judge Tamara Brown awarded the U23 men’s championship to the Collaroy Gunners, although Henry’s crew crossed the line first after causing interference.
Henry, from South Australia, formed in 1925 and had never won a rowing medal, so sweep Jamie Butterfield was quite happy with the silver medal. Palm Beach won the bronze medal.
Victorious Collaroy U23 men’s sweep Gavin Scott led the Knights to hard-won championship wins over Palm Beach (NSW) and North Cronulla Blue. Matt Mitchell’s Avoca was also the beach’s toast after storming home to clinch the men’s U19 title ahead of Caves Beach and Cudgen Headland. It’s been 40 years since Cudgen won his medal for boats of every color.
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