Rock’n’Roll 2003 [54]

By Ian Phillips

Well folks, another Rock ‘n’ Roll is over, the kayaks are back at home, the stubby caps and corks have been recycled and once again I have an interesting collection of caps courtesy of lost property.

A big thanks to everyone who attended Rock ‘n’ Roll 2003 at Currarong. Despite the inclement weather we endured all weekend (which only seemed to arrive the moment I turned up on Friday morning) and the unfortunate resulting cancellation of many on-water activities, a fairly bearable weekend was had by all, with slightly damp but nevertheless jovial spirits all ’round. 124 paddlers attended the weekend, along with another 60-odd hangers-on, which was slightly down on expectations but was still very satisfying to the organisers given a difficult location for so many paddlers and some unforgiving weather patterns.

Revised land sessions replaced on-water paddles as the weather turned nasty, and most people accepted the conditions with good grace — only a few needed a good spanking out the back of Rock ‘n’ Roll HQ. Trangias worked overtime as hot toddies were the order of the day and I kept myself warm by scoffing 400 sausage sandwiches and hugging my laptop.

Our emergency procedures were tested on the Saturday when Claudia Schremmer dislocated her shoulder during a training accident (the paddle goes in the water, Claudia). Communications, rescue personnel and Club organisers worked together perfectly to quickly get ambulance dudes to the scene and Claudia off to hospital. Claudia is recovering well and will be pounding the waves again soon.

As I sit in Rock ‘n’ Roll HQ all weekend I see everyone as they come and go and I receive a lot of great compliments for the weekend which are hugely appreciated. But as we all know very well, a weekend like Rock ‘n’ Roll doesn’t happen by itself and a huge list of thanks is necessary. Please read through the following lists and appreciate how massive something like Rock ‘n’ Roll is to organise, to manage and to run. When you next see one of these folks on the water, give them a hearty thanks. My humblest apologies to anyone I have missed — my mind is slipping these days — must be all the lubrication I give it.

  • A special thanks to marquee supporters and session presenters Roger Aspinall and Julie Stanton from Blue Earth and Wayne and Linda Langmaid from Ocean Planet who each generously donated $200.00 to the Club.
  • Many thanks to Ian Dewey from AC for his help coordinating and obtaining superstars Chad Meek and Les Allen. Ian, Chad and Les all helped out enormously with training sessions, land-based presentations and marquee entertainment throughout the weekend.
  • All the Land-Based Session Presenters: Roger Aspinall & Julie Stanton, Wayne Langmaid, Ian Dewey, Robyn Harris, Sharon Trueman, Elizabeth Thomson, David Whyte and David Winkworth.
  • The Evening Presenters: Les Allen, Andrew Eddy, Andrew McAuley, David Winkworth and Ben Eastwood for his DVD.
  • The true unsung heroes of Rock ‘n’ Roll; the Instructors, Leaders and Assistants: Sharon Betteridge, Richard Birdsey, Kevin Brennan, Ian Dunn, Andrew Eddy, Trevor Gardner, Nick Gill, Sundra John, John Lipscombe, Paul Loker, Richard McNeall, Rob Mercer, Richard McNeall, Andrew McPhail, Rob Mercer, Keith Oakford, Peter Osman, Dirk Stuber, Stuart Trueman.
  • Race Organiser and Clockwatcher: Alan Whiteman.
  • Rolling Comp Commandant: Stuart Trueman.
  • Our now infamous Jet Ski Louts who operate under the thin veil of Rescue Craft: Vince & Debbie Browning.
  • Beach Master: Max Brettargh, who endured sleet and hail to keep Mark Pearson at bay.
  • Loudhailer: Andrew Watkinson for vital voice communications across large expanses of open ground for no particular reason.
  • Bill Caulfield and his crew from Currarong Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade who stuffed us silly with their barbequed delights all weekend. I made very sure all offerings were suitable for general consumption as I scoffed down 6 sandwiches on the Saturday and another 5 on the Sunday. As a special thanks the NSWSKC donated $400.00 to the Currarong Volunteer Rural Fire Brigade following the weekend.
  • Anne and the team from Zac’s Place for the excellent Saturday night seafood dinner. Naturally I also had to sample several portions to make sure that all was in order. I even ate all my salad (Mum would be proud). And after all, I have to get my vegetables at some point during the year.
  • Peter and Yvonne from Currarong Beachside Tourist Park for their fantastic support, a beautiful location and the excellent Rock ‘n’ Roll HQ.
  • The local ambulance service who responded so excellently when Claudia went for a spin.

The most important thanks I always leave until last, to those stalwart operators: my highly skilled, highly charged and highly caffienated compadres who all worked so hard and so long to make Rock ‘n’ Roll happen for the third year running:

  • Rob Mercer; chief barista, chief quaffer and chief hardcore paddler. Little is it known that he paddles to Rock ‘n’ Roll because it’s faster than his driving.
  • Sharon Betteridge; chief organiser, chief economist and chief whitebait fritter cook… I’m sure I’d starve to death if Sharon didn’t feed me so well. Sharon deserves an extra mention for putting up with us on a continual basis as we take up residence in her lounge room.
  • Richard Birdsey; chief authorities schmoozer, chief sensible dude and chief insults coordinator, who was mighty handy once we were shown the big banana by the utterly charmless new management at Glenhaven Caravan Village.
  • Andrew Eddy, chief tactician, chief on-water guru extraordinaire and closet Mirage paddler. Now using an 8.3492 square metre sail in an effort to make Cooktown to TI a quick day trip.

You guys are the greatest, but I’m still gonna whip your arse in FNQ.

And so, as the time comes up to two-and-a-quarter inches, it’s prudent to relax, get back on the water and forget about Rock ‘n’ Roll for another handful of months. See you all at Rock ‘n’ Roll 2004!

Ian Phillips – Rock ‘n’ Roll 2003 Coordinator