Competition Team Sleepover

Cup Weekend at the Surf Club was a buzz of activity, primarily due to our inaugural competition team sleepover.  On the back of that, we had members dropping in to visit, have family BBQ’s, sub-committee catch-ups, pull up a bean bag for the film night, requals, study groups, a Cruisers’ patrol surf and more.

The weekend started with a couple of days of beautiful offshore winds and smallish surf conditions.  The camp kickoff was at 10am Sunday and our comp team members arrived with boards under one arm and their sleeping bag under the other. It was ‘drop your gear and get your wetsuit on’ to make the most of the low tide and perfect waves for our juniors.  Late-comers literally ran down the ramp and into the water, afraid to miss out on the back beach training session.  Nine year olds to seventeen year olds were all in there together enjoying the spring conditions.

After BBQ lunch we were joined by James Cameron and a number of his athletes from Frankston High, some old and some new members to the club, for a beach session.  What followed was an intensive hour of sand dune sprints, beach runs and flag drills.  That finished, our older members headed back into the water for another swim or surf with the Cruiser’s competition patrol, whilst the younger kids played hide and seek.  Not to be left idle, once back on shore it was either a requal with Henry Kiss or off for a Farnsworth Track walk.

Pre-dinner, everyone gathered in the downstairs junior members’ lounge to hear an inspirational story of survival.  You could have heard a pin drop as Simon Traynor spoke to a mesmerized audience of his adventure across the bay – when he and fellow Masochists patrol member Sophie Patten were caught unexpectedly in wind squalls whilst out for a casual paddle.  Simon shared his valuable lessons learnt of what to do and how he could have better prepared (or avoided) washing to Queenscliff, two people on one ski, across the shipping lanes, where they were eventually rescued, hypothermic and grateful for the chance to tell the tale.

Next up was pasta dinner, icecreams, a movie with popcorn and the challenge of getting 25 very excited members off to bed in their respective bunkrooms.

Exhausted, the next morning was not for sleeping in, and Spotty roused the troops at 7am for a run to Quarantine.  The going was tough, and a few not used to running would be complaining about their sore legs for days afterwards.  A well-deserved breakfast of pancakes and maple syrup filled hungry stomachs before the group cleaned up and packed their bags for the next session.

Conditions had deteriorated at the back beach.  The older stalwarts who ventured out on rescue boards were rescuing each other and back on shore racking their sticks ten minutes later.  As they headed back into the day patrol room to study for exams, the rest of the team headed to Fisherman’s Beach for a tough session of iron races, board and surf ski paddling.  Thanks to Marni Jacka who cracked the whip to keep our athletes pushing themselves throughout the morning.

As we headed back for lunch, pack up and final debrief, we heard cries of ‘please can we stay another night’ balanced by the chaperones’ replies of ‘one was enough’.  No doubt the sleepover was a success.  The athletes toughed it out rain, hail or shine and the way that the older teenage members looked after and bonded with the younger ones was testament to the benefits of all being part of a multi-age team, and the camaraderie that it builds.  Thanks to all those who pitched in to organise, shop, cook, clean, coach, uber, assess, chaperone and inspire over the two days.  We hope to lock in the date and see you all again next year.

Natalie Hood