GOOD LUCK: Cooly Magpies Sean 'Agro' Smith, Graham Matthews, Andrew Halsall, Kirk Vidler and Steve Mason get ready to head to Perth for the Aussie nationals.
GOOD LUCK: Cooly Magpies Sean 'Agro' Smith, Graham Matthews, Andrew Halsall, Kirk Vidler and Steve Mason get ready to head to Perth for the Aussie nationals. Graham Callaghan

Magpies to swoop in on title out west

QUEENSLAND'S surfboat champions, the Cooly Magpies 240-years crew, is headed to Perth again hunting for gold.

The Magpies won gold at the Queensland titles last month at the Sunshine Coast, and Coolangatta boat captain and sweep Sean 'Agro' Smith, said his crew will not accept anything less at Scarborough Beach on Monday, April 16.

"We won all three races at Alexandra Headland when the boys rowed exceptionally well,” Mr Smith said.

The crew - Steve Mason (bow), Andrew Halsall, Kirk Vidler, Graham Matthews (stroke) and Smith with the sweep-oar - had a final workout on Jack Evans Boat Harbour early last Sunday morning before loading their boat for the long trip to Scarboro.

"We mainly practised starts and turns in the flat conditions like we are expecting at Scarboro,” he said.

"We have heaps of experience with bowman Steve Mason winning two Australian gold medals, Graham Matthews one and Halsall, Vidler and myself chasing our first. The boys have been training in our gym three days a week and we have another three days in the boat.

"Racing during the season was a bit of a mix-up with nothing at the branch titles and really only the Navy Surfboat Series during the season and really this competition was a bit of let down.

"We are primed to performed well at Scarboro and bring the gold medals back home to Coolangatta.”

Mr Smith said about 30 years ago, Coolangatta was recognised as a strong boaties club and now the seeds were planted to get the club back to its former glory days.

"We had seven crews at the start of the season and plenty of youngsters just gaining their bronze medallions are keen to row boats and soon we will be training young sweeps to help handle the expected workload,” he said.

"This season we had four crews competing at the Queensland championships and we are taking one to the Aussies so the feeling is great at the club.

Four years back our 240-years crew won the Queensland title and then backed up at Tugun to win Australian gold and now we are chasing the same result.”



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