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Port Fairy Rowers Almost Snare Aust Title

Port Fairy rowers almost snare Aust title
05 April 2012

A TEAM of rowers from Port Fairy recently came tantalisingly close to claiming an Australian title.
The Shearwaters surf boat crew represented the Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club in the masters class at the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships in Queensland.

The masters class was contested by 22 teams from across Australia, with the Port Fairy team consisting of rowers Howard Sharp, Shaun Murrihy, Scott Hetherington, Dean Dwyer and sweep Paul Buchanan. The Port Fairy team competed in the 180-years-plus division, with the combined age of the four rowers placing them in this section.

The team's won the first heat and came second in its next heat later that day.

The team came back the next day for the third heat, but a collision with another boat meant it finished last.

But the high finish in its first two heats meant the Port Fairy crew had enough points to make it to the finals later in the day.

Six teams lined up for the final and Port Fairy was quick out of the blocks for an early lead. But as the crew was going through the first break, the carbon fibre sweep oar snapped and the team was forced to retreat to the beach . With a wooden sweep oar in hand, the crew hit the water again and this time successfully negotiated the first break. But the battle to get through the second break was lost as for the second time the sweep oar snapped and the crew was forced from the race.

Crew member Shaun Murrihy said while the crew was disappointed they were taken out of the final in this fashion, they were proud of their efforts.

"We have been rowing together for three wins and Paul mentioned late last year we should come up and have a go at the championships," Murrihy said. "We had done at least eight carnivals over the summer so we had a bit of work behind us going up to Queensland.

"We were aiming to be competitive so we were rapt to make it to the final and with a bit of luck we could have done okay in the final."

Murrihy said the team would continue to train and it aimed to take part in the World Surf Life Saving Championships in Adelaide in November .



ARTICLE: Port Fairy rowers almost snare Aust title, 05 Apr, 2012 07:46 AM. [The Moyne Gazette online]. Available at [Accessed 16 April 2012]
IMAGE of the Shearwaters surf boat crew [The Moyne Gazette online]. Available at [Accessed 16 April 2012]