Raft of events raises $5000 for Cabarita
By DARREN COYNE
"SHEER power and a well-designed sail" helped the crew on the JH Williams-sponsored raft defeat all comers in the annual Cabarita Beach raft race at Mooball Creek, Pottsville, yesterday.
And to celebrate the victory, the winners blasted their poor opponents with water cannons ? but it was all in good fun.
Raft spokesman Blake Hawkey said the "couple of bits of timber and a drop sheet" which served as a sail had made all the difference in the race. Designed over three weekends and a few cartons of beer, the mighty craft also took out the classic raft category.
Second in the raft race were the Cabarita Beach nippers. While the best designed craft, as chosen by Cabarita butcher Bruce Vardy, was aptly named 'Pig'.
Taking out the Open Swim event was Nick Burton, with Jordan Charters winning the female swim. The winners of the oldest and youngest swimmer sections were Rod Couch, 59, and Ellie Williams, just 14 years old.
Fundraising co-ordinator Peter O'Donnell said the day had raised more than $5000, which would be used to buy equipment for the club.
Mr O'Donnell said the club was aiming to open its new $950,000 surf club in Pandanus Parade by June. Tweed Shire Council had provided $650,000, Department of Sport and Recreation $200,000, with the remaining $100,000 raised by the local community.
Mr O'Donnell said the club had 250 members at present and would embark on a membership drive with the opening of the new club, hoping to increase numbers to about 700 in five years.
While waiting for the new club house, the surf club has operated out of temporary facilities.
"It's been a struggle keeping the membership base stable at around 250 but we've got a lot of new nippers this year and we're confident of the club continuing to grow," he said.
"We'll hopefully be holding surf carnivals at Cabarita in the not-toodistant future."