A surfboat crew from the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Surf Life Saving Club recently swapped Bennetts Beach for the Macleay River to take part in the annual Australian River Rowers event.
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Rowers L.J. Chester, Andrew Stubbs, Ian Sunner, John Estens, Mark Horton, Peter Rogers, Steve Howell and sweeper ‘Big Jim’ joined crews from up and down the east coast for the 60 kilometre row.
Their journey took them from Aldavilla near Kempsey to Smithtown for an overnight stop, then it was off to South West Rocks.
The crew was also rowing for a cause.
Organiser Peter Rogers, told News Of The Area, “The event this year was in support of veteran Grant Palmer, who fought in East Timor and returned with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
Grant has teamed up with the ‘Whiskey’s Wish Foundation’ which provides him with a service dog to aid in his recovery.
Grant and his canine mate ‘Weary’ became the event’s official mascot for the weekend.
“Whiskey’s Wish” Foundation provides early intervention in the form of training highly skilled Service Dogs that will provide years of mobility and social support to Veterans and First Responders with disabilities in particular those suffering with PTSD.
Peter Rogers said, “For Tea Gardens Hawks Nest it is a great thing to do, to get together with other surf club crews in the lead up to another season and take on a river together, and to continue the improvement the club has made after winning their first Surfboat State Titles Gold Medal last season.’’
Over the past four years the Tea Gardens Hawks Nest Crew has rowed the Manning, Clarence and Hastings
Now they can tick the Macleay off their bucket list
By Margie TIERNEY