Deane Crockett will sweep Coffs Harbour in today’s showdown with old rival Woolgoolga.
Deane Crockett will sweep Coffs Harbour in today’s showdown with old rival Woolgoolga. Leigh Jensen / Coffs Coast Advoc

Surf boat rivals set to battle again

FOR years Woolgoolga has dominated North Coast surf boat racing but the emergence of Coffs Harbour over the past two summers has that supremacy under threat.

Coffs sweep Deane Crockett says the good-natured rowing rivalry with Woopi sweep Trevor Clark goes back a long way and resumes today at Rainbow Beach at Bonny Hills with the clubs sharing top billing in the premium open men’s division.

“Clutchy (Clark) and I have been rowing competitively against each other since the 1980s,” Deane said.

“Competition was just so fierce back then and now here we are 30-plus years later and we’re both at it again, both sweeping our clubs’ A-crews.

“The competitive edge never leaves and another thing that stays the same is we still love having a beer after.

“But you’ve gotta watch him as he could be using tactics.

“Now that he’s a bit older, Clutchy needs to be cunning to keep up with young fellows of 55 such as myself.”

With Christmas over, Deane says things now get more serious in the run to the finals.

“I leave a red flag on the back of our boat so Woopi can see us way out in front.

“Jokes aside, all credit to both crews for being very even.

“We like to smash each other in the water but both crews get on well outside of rowing which is the thing I love about this sport.

“This weekend is a bit of a pivot point for the two clubs with the winner taking a huge advantage into the last few rounds.”