The Broulee Bluebottles Open Women’s team and the Broulee Bats are ready for the world’s longest ocean-oared race, starting on New Year’s Eve in Batemans Bay.
The George Bass Marathon is named for the epic voyage George Bass and his crew made in open boats 220 years ago down the East Coast of Australia.
The race is seven legs over seven days, finishing in Eden on January 6. It began in 1975 and is held every two years.
Crews have been training since July and are looking forward to the many challenges marathon rowers face: hypothermia, sunburn, exhaustion, sharks, bluebottles, surf, sea fog etc.
The Bluebottles have had a steady build up, with a solid eight training since July, including Grace Pollock, Paris Hadley, Taryn Carver, Nikky Kemp, Michelle Cottington [Captain], Danielle Heron, Topaz Eaton, Karen Gleeson; sweep Rob Pollock, manager Tony Dale, IRB driver Colo Fifita, IRB crewman Ryan Pollock, boat driver David Price.
Their ages vary from 19 to 45, giving a good mix of youth and experience. They are excited and happy to represent Broulee.
Robert Pollock, Tony Dale, Michelle Cottington, Nikky Kemp and Taryn Carver have had plenty of George Bass experience and are well prepared for 180 kms of rowing.
The Bats veterans crew has also been training since July, but had withdrawals and injuries at the last minute. Sweep Justin Zutt is no stranger to the event and has been cracking the whip over nine weeks since taking charge. The Bats have learnt to be early “Bats”, at 5am training sessions to get the miles in the legs.
They are Cherise Walker, Belinda O’Keeffe, Ruth Nelson, Michelle Zutt, Narelle Pollock, Gabi Smith, Jenny Taylor, Justin Zutt, Kerryl Davies and Donna Clarke.
Michelle Zutt, Narelle Pollock, Gabi Smith, Donna Clarke and Kerryl Davies survived the 2016 trip. Kirsty Luff Dunkley Reserves are Cherise Walker and Pip Butt. Unfortunately Jenny Taylor suffered a back injury a few weeks ago and has had to withdraw. Boat driver is Gerrard O’Keefe, manager is Bede Lafferty, and IRB driver is Tony Xuereb.
As always, the bats are doing it for fun, fitness and team bonding. They have a huge following and Cat Woman is bound to seen on January 6 in full flight.
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