Locals perform at Avon Descent

Team Esperance. Photo: Supplied.
Team Esperance. Photo: Supplied.

Esperance-Goldfields Surf Lifesaving Club was represented at this year's Avon Descent by Kathleen Donovan, Penny Boardman, Lisa Bell and Lisa Julian in the 15km surf boat feature race.

The famous face saw 11 surf boats racing up the river, past the Guildford Bridge and back, with boats from Fremantle, City Beach, Cottesloe, Coogee, Mullaloo and Esperance Goldfields.

Our girls, a veteran team, contested the Open Women and had trained well three days a week, with at least one row from the yacht club to Bandy Creek and back.

The start of the race saw City Beach and Coogee streak ahead, with Esperance concentrating on timing, length and weight, with controlled aggression on the oars.

It took several kilometres to sneak up on Coogee and the experience of the Esperance team shone through.

They drew up alongside the younger rowers and slipped back as the turn held Esperance to the wide side of the corner.

However, on the next corner, Esperance had the inside and managed to sneak in front.

Urged on by the sweep, Graham Donovan suggested his crew apply the pressure.

The girls lifted to the challenge and gradually slipped away from Coogee.

With City Beach now in their sights, the sweep urged his crew on, reminding constantly for long strong strokes with a steady slow recovery.

With great determination, the crew of Donovan, Boardman, Bell and Julian kept a steady strong rhythm, aiming to pull back the distance City Beach had on the Southern boat rowers.

The earlier starters, which included ski's, Stand Up Paddle Boards, Outriggers, Kayaks, and Dragon Boats, were heading back and were clogging the waterway by being on the wrong side of the river.

Taking the shortest route, not observing navigation rules.

The Esperance crew managed to navigate through the craft without mishap to the turning buoy, which was nowhere to be seen, until the organisers arrived in the rubber duck screaming out, "Turn Now, Turn Now," then held onto the buoy with the anchor still attached to the rubber duck slowed the turn for the Esperance rowers.

Around the turn City Beach turned it on and quickly got back to the lead as positions up from the Guildford Bridge were not to be changed.

A little over half way back to Bayswater, the Open Men crews were catching up and 3 or 4 boats came hammering past with loads of heavy breathing and the clicking clunking sound of the rowlocks in wonderful time.

With a cheeky look behind after the last bend, and the finish line in sight, second place looked safe for the Esperance rowers, which was their finishing position.