• Short Summary

    Several Australian Olympians put up impressive performances during the recent sydney Metropolitan Surf Championships at Wanda Beach.

  • Description

    GV boat crew rowing for wave and catching it into shore to win championship

    GV swamped boat

    SV malibu paddler picking up wave to beach as other finish behind him (3 shots)

    GV double ski team paddling through shore break as place getters finish behind them ( 2 shots)

    SV Rogers swimming onto wave to win Open Surf Championship

    The Senior Open Surf Boat race provided the usual number of thrills and spills at the recent Sydney Metropolitan Surf Championships. With waves running up to four feet high at Wanda Beach, it made the row out to the buoys a tough one but the ride back to shore far easier. And none handled the conditions better than North Caribbean....a Sydney surf club with a fine record in boat races. The crew used their weight in the boat well and balanced perfectly as the large wooden craft picked up a wave. By moving to the back they kept the boat's bow high and light as it raced through the foam.

    Other crews, however, had their problems with swirling channels. The surf also made it a hard pull for the Malibu board paddlers. The Malibu board is designed in much the same way as an old-fashioned balsa wood surfboard. Competitors must paddle out through the breaker round a set of buoys ...set some distance off shore...and return through the surf to the beach.

    It's particularly gruelling individual event...despite the apparent ease of the ride to shore.

    The double-ski event is used by many Olympic Kayak competitors as a break away from the grind of still water training. They say the coordinated and hard paddle out to buoys is excellent stamina building exercise.

    The double-skis are also roughly shaped as surfboards, but built from heavy marine plywood.

    It takes delicate balance and teamwork to catch a wave on the ski which overturns easily.

    But one of the most impressive performances put up by an Olympian came in the Open Surf Race. Olympic swimming medal hope Heil Rogers combined swimming power and style with surfing prowess to take the coveted title.

    Rogers, an international class pool swimmer, is part of a famous Australian surf club family. Both his two brothers are champion surf and pool swimmers as well.

    He shows his style by stalling in water....he actually stops swimming..to wait for the right moment to swim onto a wave.

    Then by using his arm to lead him through the foaming wave, Rogers is able to pick up the double....when the wave reforms and breaks again.

    The arm acts almost like a tug..towing and guiding the rest of the body onto the full crest of the wave. Rogers won the event from two other Olympic hopefuls....Max Brewer and Trevor Cracknell.

    Initials RH/0035 RH/GB/DK/0130

    ED's NOTE: This film is serviced with a commentary by ABC reporters which is for guidance only.

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Several Australian Olympians put up impressive performances during the recent sydney Metropolitan Surf Championships at Wanda Beach.

    The championships featured every type of surf carnival event and provided spectacular action in three to four foot (about 1 metre) waves.

    Olympic swimming medallist hope, Neil Rogers showed both swimming power and surfing prowess to win the coveted Open Surf title.

    He beat two other Olympic swimming aspirants in Max Brewer and Trevor Cracknell.

    The double and single ski events--in which competitors paddle from long plywood boards with special feet attachments----were used by Olympic Kayak crews as a break from their still water training.

    They claim the long paddle out through the breakers and swirling channels helps build stamina and makes the intricately engineered canals of the Olympics seem easy.

    The Open Senior Surf Boat race also provided its usual thrills.

    Large waves, breaking close to the shore, swamped several of the large wooden five-man boats and gave the sweeps---the pole man who guides the boat by standing in the back and using a large oar to steer through the calmest water----their share of problems.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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