Another enjoyable night was had by all at this year’s Christmas Party and Presentation night at Club Kirrawee. Thanks again to Robyn for organising another successful event.
This year was another great year for the club in terms of; results in competitive racing, organising fantastic events in both the Marathon and Surf ski series at Dolls point, club time trials, social paddling and socialising with good friends. We had four members striving for the “Big Year”. Steve Dawson, Kate Dawson, and Ross and Robyn Bingle. They paddled in over 15 competitive events including the Marathon Series, Hawkesbury, and Myall classic, Clarence 100, Massive Murray Paddle, and the RPM for Steve and Kate.
Kate scooped the pool winning the awards for Female Marathon Paddler, and most time trial points, the Morison Cup teamed with Steve, and also the Hero Award, for being the first female canoe paddler to complete the Hawkesbury solo. Steve collected the male marathon award, whilst Ross and Robyn were applauded for their hard work and consistency in winning the Outstanding Achievement Award for finishing first in the Massive Murray and 2nd in the Hawkesbury on Handicap.
Once again Bert Laurendet showed his experience and skill to win with highest points in the time trial and teaming with the ever reliable Rod Berry to win the Double Trophy for 2017. Not only can Bert teach many of us how to paddle and stay in a K1 but he also knows plenty about handicap racing as well.
The always eagerly awaited “Warrior” trophy, awarded by Bert and Kaye, this year went to Peter Faherty and none could doubt his achievements in 2017, his first real year of kayak racing. Peter started in Division 7 of the PaddleNSW Marathon series and by the time he completed the final race at Burrill was promoted to Division 4. Many thought this was impressive enough until he sped through the Hawkesbury Classic course to finish in 9hrs 50min in his first attempt. Peter was also placed first male in the time trial series. We couldn’t let Peter off with all these accolades without recognising his superior and fast becoming legendary “Washriding” skills which saw him earn the Barnacle trophy for 2017. Interestingly Jeff was almost ready to accept the award for a second time when nominated.
Junior Encouragement Award winner and the winner of the junior time trial series went to Ashley Dicker for 2017. We will continue to watch keenly to see how much faster Ashley along with Euan and Kadi are as they fight it out for the time trial honours in 2018.
First placed female in the time trial series went to Jaki Brunton-Douglas as did the Morison Encouragement Award, presented by Steve Dawson on behalf of Joan and Bruce Morison. Jaki had a very good year often leading the pack home in the time trials.
We didn’t have too many “swimmers” in 2017, however we couldn’t go past giving the award to Gareth Stokes for falling out his K1 causing injury and forcing him to miss his first Hawkesbury. We did tell him to be careful not to get injured close to the Classic!
There were many nominees for the Peter Tuziak Club Spirit award for 2017 as many members volunteered their time and contributed to the positive spirit of the year. The Award was deservedly presented to Janine Wassens for her work supporting, encouraging and paddling with the juniors in both the time trials and the marathon series.
One of the important things to celebrate for 2017 was the continued relationship between the Sutherland club and Dolls Point Paddlers. We had many paddlers enjoying the benefits and variety presented by being able to be a part of both clubs and paddle both flat and moving water in kayaks and surf ski’s. The Dolls Point crew continues to grow and adds to the strength of the overall Sutherland Shire club. We all appreciated Mark Sundin for his support and good humour and we couldn’t go past awarding the “Not So Crafty” Award to Mark for his clever drone and tricky camera work.
Bob Turner as the current incumbent was called upon to award the “Stirrer” award for this year. I think we can all agree that Annette has done a great job this year “stirring” people up to fill the club duty roster.
Finally the Committee decided that in 2017 we would resurrect an old award that hasn’t been presented since the 1990’s, the Vernon Stedman Award. Robyn explained that Vernon was a member of the club and a volunteer fireman who lost his life in the 1980 Waterfall bushfires at the age of 21. Vernon was a happy, hard toiling paddler and club member. This award for 2017 was presented to John Mollard for his positive attitude and good nature around the club.
With the awards over it was time to kick back and tell paddling stories and share plenty more laughs. It also sounded like it was time to develop new strategies for racing in 2018. I wonder how many new boats, new teams or even resurrected boats and teams we will see in 2018!
The Committee on behalf of all members would like to thank Kaye Laurendet and Steve Dawson for running another enjoyable time trial series this year. Thanks also to all the volunteers, too many to name, those that landcrewed and supported the paddlers and everyone for making this year another fun and friendly year.