Sporting traditions alive and well

Noosa clubs battle it out at the Banana Bender Hotel.

On Sunday morning, the Noosa Heads SLSC held what used to be an annual event, the Tee Tree Bay to Noosa Main Beach open water swim.

Because of Covid-19 and other distractions, this was the first for several years, and despite this, some 25 members made it to the starting line. Under the starter’s gun of life member Tim Irvine, the contestants hit the water at 9.30 am for the two kilometre swim with age categories from seniors to masters taking part. It was, considering the long time interruptions, a success.

On arrival all swimmers were registered by Sandy Warren, the lady who along with her late husband Bruce, has officiated since the event came into being. This swim, plus the Shirley- Strachan- Bruce Memorial Swim, is now a club tradition and its importance in modern day surf club life cannot be emphasised enough. With the role of the Courtesy Patrol now being extended from isolated areas such as North Shore to east of National Park, the importance of surf swimming, which Bruce had always emphasised, will again be elevated to its rightful position.

With the swim being contested by both male and female, the first home in the three categories were: Male, Jay Littman first, Darren Mercer second and Peter Fidler third. For the ladies, first home was Gail Eden, second Robyn Jenkinson and third Belinda Marsh. “It was not the big roll up we had hoped for but considering that it was the first weekend after the Coolangatta Gold, we were happy with the results,” said Surf Sports Director Alan Rogers.

Once again club officials expressed a big vote of thanks to Sandy Warren and her support team for their efforts. Also, many thanks went to those who made the whole event possible, including the event sponsors Iron Man, Tom Offermann, Madill’s, Grilled and Boost Juice.

This weekend all Nipper Clubs from the Sunshine Coast will gather on the sands of Noosa’s Main Beach for a surf carnival, and with Main Beach now being in its best condition ever, it is sure to be another success.

The recent surf boat carnival that was hosted by the Noosa club on Main Beach has once again emphasised that another Noosa tradition is alive and well. First started in Noosa in 1949, boat racing has had its ups and downs, but being a very spectacular sport, it has always drawn lots of public attention from those who have occasion to visit our beachs.

The fact that a surf boat with a crew of five, a sweep and four rowers, can, when racing in big surf, be picked up by a wave and rolled over, with all on board , is indeed something to see.

In her 1949 book Surf, Australians against the Sea, C. Bede Maxwell states: “Rescues made by surf boat crews were far too numerous to make counting possible.”

However, with the advent of the jet rescue boats, IRBs, helicopters and jet rescue sSkis, the role of the surf boat as a rescue craft, complete with rescue harness of surf line and belt, became a thing of the past. With the rescue harness being removed from the boats of today, it is now primarily a racing craft.

In the mid-1990s senior boaties met and, after discussions, a governing body, the Queensland Surf Rowers League was formed. This was to become the basis for a governing body, nation-wide, the Australian Surf Rowers League, often referred to as the ASRL.

This consolidated the boating fraternity, and as a result of this more professional attitude, major sponsorships for various clubs became common. The boat was, of course, in keeping with the times becoming modernised. It went from the heavy wooden double ender with fixed, “plank-like seats,” to the much lighter fibre glass tuck stern, with pumps and sliding seats.

One of the most consolidating factors of surf boat racing is the fact that it is basically a team sport. Apart from the five-man crew, it will always have a solid support team, and good team work is the life blood of a good strong surf club.


Friday night saw the Banana Bender Hotel, formerly known as the Ettamogah Pub, play host to an evening of boxing and fighters from both our local clubs, the NBO, (Noosa Box Office) and Impact Boxing and Fitness Academy took to the ring. The evening was well supported and program of some 10 fights was scheduled.

Amongst the highlights from our locals were two outstanding efforts from Kerin Whitehead from the Academy and Luke Sheridan from the NBO.

Boxing as a welterweight, Sheridan took control from the opening bell and took the decision with a third round TKO. For Sheridan this was just the start of a double header, for next day he travelled to Caloundra to box in the War of the World Tournament. In doing so, he repeated his effort from Friday night, again winning on a third round TKO.

Coach Israel Kani said, “For Luke his win of two fights in two nights was a great effort . His best performance was his body punching which was spot on, we just hope he keeps it up.”

For the Impact Academy team, the highlight came from Kerin Whitehead. Kerin, aged 19, was making his professional debut boxing as a super welterweight. Fighting Kody Packer from the Gold Coast he started strong and was also instrumental in winning his first professional bout with a first round TKO.

“He boxed well,” said coach Mark Evans, “took control right from the start and it was his right- hand rips to the stomach that won him the fight.’’

Also, from the Impact team, five amateur female members boxed exhibition bouts which were very well received, with many of the crowd commenting on the high standard of boxing. The female team consisted of Kieran Welch, Page Robinson, Ruby Anderson, Letti Burel, and Slade Gray. It is well noted that all have won both Australian and state titles, thus their high standard of boxing.

However, the Impact Academy is not just about boxing.

When the club was formed some years ago, owner/coach Mark Evans said he wanted a name that would help create a good impact within the community. Thus, the name Impact Academy came into being.

Now the new gym, Impact Boxing and Fitness Centre, located at 5 Taylor Crt. Cooroy, will on Saturday, starting at 9am through to 12.30pm, host the Safe TALK- Suicide Prevention Training. For this occasion a very prominent guest speaker in this field of work, will address the meeting. People ask about the name Safe TALK. The key word is, of course, TALK and this has a very significant meaning: Tell-Ask-Listen-Keep safe.

For those in our community who are concerned about the growing number of suicides and want to know about prevention, this is certainly not to be missed.