Floods had washed old pontoons away

STILL AFLOAT: Scott Hudson is lowered on to the water as he works on the installation of the Bundaberg Rowing Club's pontoons at the city reach of the Burnett River. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail
STILL AFLOAT: Scott Hudson is lowered on to the water as he works on the installation of the Bundaberg Rowing Club's pontoons at the city reach of the Burnett River. Photo: Ben Turnbull / NewsMail Ben Turnbull

RARELY does a rower match the distance travelled on water in a week with travel aboard other means of transport. But since January's flood destroyed their Bundaberg training base, local rowers have spent plenty of time in the car.

With the pontoons somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, it was agreed it was easier to make the trip to the Bucca rowing course than to search the world's biggest ocean for the pontoons to launch their boats.

But the well-worn path to Bucca for training will be a thing of the past with new pontoons in place in the city reach of the Burnett River.

Day trips and weekend camps had been common.

From now on, the rowers will be dragging the boats out of the Nev Cullen Boat Shed and putting them on the Burnett by month's end.

Bundaberg Rowing Club's Judi Hellmuth said while Bucca was a great place to train while their traditional home was out of action, it would be good to get back in the water from closer to home.

"We are very excited. Bucca is beautiful but it's going to be good to get back on the water in Bundaberg," Judi said.

And with funding secured, the new pontoons came at the right time and during a historic year for the club.

In 1888, the same year as the rum distillery was established, the Bundaberg Rowing Club began. Now in its 125th year, members have shown it will take more than a bit of extra water to get rid of them.

When the waters rose during the floods, volunteers worked hard to save all the pre-1900 memorabilia. It will be on display at the club's celebration in November.

Topics:  floods 2013 rowing

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