Grassroots Surfing (ASL 2010)

ASL Article from 2010
Grassroots Surfing
Get to know your Club
by Froody

Queenscliff is a big club in big Sydney full of big personalities on a beach with big crowds. Their club mascot is a big, inflatable Gumby! What’s the big idea we thought? So ASL shoved a salami down our pants, puffed up our hair and fought our way through the throngs of backpackers, Brazo’s and big-salaried-fatcats to ask the big questions…

THE SCORE …”We’ re on the quieter end of the Manly stretch, but we’ re by no means quiet,” explains club Pres ‘ Wave Rat’ . It’ s one of the closest beaches to Sydney and heaves under the masses in the water. QBC claims just 400 metres of beachies at the northern end of the 1.5km strip, that “can be sensational on its day but it’ s just a standard, random beachie.”

THIS JOINT CHURNS OUT …Competitive, hungry surfers. There’ s always a pack in the water so you have to be hungry to get your waves, but there’ s also always plenty of rippers out: “there’ s always someone to look up to out there; but at the same time there’ s always heaps of guys coming up, pushing you…and ready to jump over you,” says WR.

SINCE WHEN …It’ s been 32 rock-solid years that QBC has been dominating down at Manly. The bar was set high fairly early by Roger Marshall, Robert Ironside and Steve Garth. They were established as a competitive force from the outset and pride themselves on being one of Oz’ s top clubs, having won every single open and junior event in the nation – no small feat. They’ ve got over 140 surfers in their ranks at the moment, meaning contest days can be as frantic as a one-armed leper in fly season.

FAMOUS FOR …Their mascots. The blokes up the road at North Narrabeen are all big tradey-types who used to taunt the QBC guys with “you’ re all gumbies!” QBC knew they wouldn’ t stand a chance in a biff, so rocked up to the next interclub with a massive blow-up Gumby. The fuming North Narrabeen crew then called them all gay so the ever-keen-to-take-the-piss QBC crew acquired another mascot – a giant pink loveheart emblazoned with “QBC loves you”. Classic.

NOW AND THE FUTURE …With their competitive bent it’ s not surprising that guys are following in the footsteps of club legends Rob Bain, Ryan Alagich, Merrick Davis and Kingsley Looker and many more and flying the club’ s flag on the world stage. Today’ s cadre includes Sam Page, Luke Cheadle, Nick Riley, Ben Hamilton and Trent McCann. Preparing to mow them down are Tom Lane, Dan Karen and Bryce Martiskin.

NEMESIS …”Without a doubt North Steyne,” WR fires back. “If we ever want to beat anyone it’ s them.” Who comes up trumps? “We’ re by far the superior team,” WR modestly answers, “it’ s like a big brother, little brother thing. But it’ s a lot less serious than it used to be, we all go out for a drink together and if we’ re knocked out then we’ ll go for them.” The competitiveness comes form their proximity but also that local groms can surf in both clubs until they’ re 18 to maximise their contest experience.