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The Rock-itt : January 2011
Nothing gives me more pleasure than starting off the New Year with a brand new feature. This month we will introduce you to a great Aussie sport, surf boat racing and give you a preview of what's in store for this summer within the surf boat racing fraternity. On a magnificent sunny Saturday morning of 11th December, 2010, I turned up at North Narrabeen Beach at 6:30am with my little digital camera. Both Dave "The Lens" Tozer and Ian "Snapper" Bird, The Rock-itt's two professional photographers were on other assignments and I thought no serious shots of the actual racing were going to be taken, but it didn't end up that way as you will find out at the end of this feature. So with my trusty little camera which is always in my pocket in case the unexpected happens, I began snapping away as the morning unfolded. Although it was a very calm sea on the day and I could hear predictions coming from veterans saying it would be a quick race, I managed to take photos of the boats and their crews arriving and setting up. When I first arrived on the scene I found a handful of officials and volunteers unpacking the public address system and barbecue for the day's event. Soon one by one the boats began to arrive and were trailered into the car park. They were carefully lifted off by their crews and carried down the narrow walkway to the beach. There was an ambiance of anticipation and excitement as gradually the scene changed from a handful of officials and volunteers to a huge crowd of competitors and spectators lifting boats, carrying oars, applying sun screen, setting up tents, smiling, laughing and discussing the events which were about to unfold and would soon test both men and women, boys and girls who had all come down to North Narrabeen to pit their skills and fitness against one another. Now there was a real carnival atmosphere here. Mingling with the crowd it was a magical feeling to be there, to have the sun on my back, the smell of the sea in my nostrils and the delicious aroma of snags being cooked on the barbie, and to be part of this wonderful get together of athletes and lovers of this popular sport Report by Pete Johnson Photos by Bill Sheridan