Thursday, 6 October 2011

GPSTC Team Introduction - Cockroaches NSW

Andrew aka Sick_em_rex on the GPS Team Challenge from the Cockroaches team sent me this to introduce the team to the rest of us. Thank you Andrew, its great to know a little more about the people we compete with every time the wind favours us. - 'The Bus' 
If any of your team has a few pics to break the article up I would really appreciate them.....

G'Day, my name is Andrew or sick_em_rex from the Cockroaches GPS team challenge team. I wanted to introduce our team as I too think its a good idea to know each other a little better.

Our team is based in Sydney which although it is built on the stunning harbour, the main place most of us sail is Botany Bay. It is located only a short drive from the city and works in almost all wind directions. It is the home to one one of Sydneys best speed strips at Sandringham but this is only exposed at low tide and again only works in a Southerly wind. In a nor east which is the prevailing Summer wind, we tend to run literally alongside the runway of Sydney Airport. Speeds of 40knots have been recorded here so in the right conditions it can be a great spot for not only 2 second bursts but also nautical miles. It is also a great spot for bump and jump sailing. Visually it is spectacular as you can literally be sailing within 100m of a taxiing A380.

About an hours drive south from here is Lake Illawarra which also has some very flat water but is very shallow in spots and requires either a good local knowledge of the spot or no brain. I ‘think’ Leo has the former ;-) as this is where he has done his best ever speeds. Seabreeze is home to a few of Leo’s GoPro exploits at the spot.

An hours drive north of Botany Bay is Narrabeen Lake. Works best in a Nor Easter but can also be sailed in a Southerly and in a Westerly (our predominant Winter wind) is a good spot as it has weed banks and so can provide some hair raising flat water runs. A lot of guys sail here that can’t be bothered or don’t have the time to trek down to Botany. Many of us learnt the sport here and so holds many memories.

These 3 spots are the main waterways for the Cockroaches. Other waterways are where some of the other NSW teams sail so I will let them talk them up.

Here is a 'brief' introduction to the members of the Cockroaches, its a big team.....

Our captain is Sam Parker. He is one of those rare individuals that does anything he does exceptionally well. He is consistently faster than anyone else on the water on any given day and just knows how to get the most out of his equipment….which I might add is many and varied as he is the owner of the only Windsurfing shop in all of Sydney so he has a lot of equipment to choose from!!! He is also a gun SUP’er and recently went to Hawaii to compete in a race series with great results.

Working down the list from the top is Chris Ting. Chris doesn’t post a lot, if ever to be honest as he is busy making his world renowned VMG Blade Formula Windsurfing fins. Still a fast sailor who revels in the heavy winds he tends to sail Formula rather than speed but given the right conditions he is out there on small gear.

Katapult, aka David Flanagan. Dave is a lightweight so is quick up to around 20 knots windstrength. Recently has fallen in love with Formula sailing but also still loves just as much if not more to get out on his slalom gear and go flat stick.

Sick_em_rex or Andrew Donovan, myself.  I’m a lightweight and love nothing more than going as fast as I possibly can. Luckily I can be out on smaller gear than most due to my weight and I am forever on a search for flat water. Recently got myself a speed board and so am hoping to push my pb’s up over Summer.

Chris Christensen, looks like Grizzly Adams but is in no way a bushman. On the water he is super quick and often only gets pipped by the smallest of margins for being fastest of the day.

Larko, or Grant Larkin as he is actually known has been in the industry since forever and he has lost none of his desire for the sport. Injuries have taken their toll on him over the years and he is a bit stiff and sore somedays so that can hinder his performance. Tends to sail at Lake Dangerous (Narrabeen Lakes) so doesn’t get the conditions to prove himself as much as some guys do. Both he and myself make the yearly pilgrimage to Sandy Point speed fortnight so we are both hoping to get some good conditions this year to post some good numbers.

Boss Man or Rick Murray is like the Duracell Bunny. He may be a little older than some of us but he quite often puts us all to shame with his endurance and blinding speed. He has a take no prisoners approach on the water and puts his head down and goes for it well after most of us would back off out of a run. Good at speed, slalom and Formula, the guy has salt water running through his veins.

Uncle Mike is Mike Nelson. Usually more of a Formula sailor Mike also loves a blat on the slalom kit and speed gear if conditions permit. Tends to sail down South of Sydney and doesn’t post often unfortunately.

JB is John Hurley. A VERY proud Irishman, John has undergone a massive transformation over the last 2 years after discovering a fitness regime called cross fit. As such he has shed many kilos and is one of the fittest guys going around. Again, more a Formula sailor and not a frequent poster.

Conan is Wayne Bowness. Nicknamed cause he is a bronzed muscle man who is frequently seen in cahoots with BossMan. They are very evenly matched in all disciplines. Wayne would most likely be faster if he got a haircut ;-)

Michael Thomson is a freak. He just sails and sails and sails racking up ridiculous distances. Is most of the time first on the water and last off. Splits his sailing time between slalom and Formula and is a beautiful gyber.

Sean Dayhew is a jack of all trades, equally capable in speed, slalom and Formula. Unfortunately he hasn’t really had the conditions yet in which to excel at speed but when he does I have no doubt he’ll be scary fast.

Peter Sexton is also Wineman. Looks like your typical old salty dog. Loves a sail as much as any of us but tends to sail a little within himself. I’d love to see him on some more modern gear and grab the bit between his teeth one day and I have no doubt he’ll crack 30 knots. Is also the organiser of The Ashes Windsurfing series. (the Bus here, Peter please sort out the Ashes!!!!! I dont care if the cricket is not on, its the windsurfing I care about! I have found Wineman to be really encouraging to new joiners on the GPS team challenge when they get their first few PB's, thats what we need more of, cheer Peter!)

Ads, aka alphaman, aka TiVoman, aka Adam Craven, loves his Formula sailing most but I reckon slalom is a very close second. Has had his tow curtailed of late due to study commitments but I know he’ll be back and hard at it over summer uni break.

Tim Ford, ahhhhh the Kiwis….what can we say, BUT he does live in Sydney now so he knows which country is the best!! Has had a rapid rise through the sailing ranks over the last couple of years. Splits his time between Formula and slalom with an equal love of each.

Davmen is Dave Menegoni. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a lot of Dave of late so I’m guessing he may hibernate over Winter so expect to see him back out on the water this Summer.

Andrew Rogan, a proud Dad of twins not too long ago is a tall man with the reach of an albatross. Again, another of the slalom/Formula group who on his day is really quick. I guess the new bubs will hold him back a tad this summer but let’s hope not.

Craig Hammond was a serial poster last Summer but family and work commitments have robbed us of his talents over the last few months. Loves the little gear and gives it a red hot go when the conditions are on. I really hope he gets out on the water more over summer.

Roar is Craig Parker. I don’t know Craig well but I know he loves going fast. Tends to sail the South Eastern side of Botany Bay. The 
lucky bugger nicks off to Hawaii every now and then to hone his skills and I know he is quietly accruing a cache of nice boards. A solid guy who revels in strong winds.

Leo, aka Paul Leonardo. Leo has made it his quest over the last 12 months to break 40 knots. He has now smashed through that barrier. Leo has a passion for this sport that I have never seen before. He now makes his own fins and quite proudly spruiks of their ability. A nicer guy you’d be hard pressed to meet and makes the best garlic potatoes I have ever tasted!

AG1 is Allan Gleeson. Another stalwart from the industry, Al is still super fast but unfortunately doesn’t get on the water anywhere near as much as he should or would like.

Spencer Harris is relatively new to the sport but is quietly making progress. Expect big things from him this summer.

AlfaMale is Berowne Hlavaty. Loves a laydown gybe and also loves going fast. Hope to sail with him more this summer.

Unfortunately I don’t know Eckas, Wysey or Marty to be able to comment on them.

Hopefully that has given you a bit of an insight into who the Cockroaches are and what makes us tick.

1 comment:

  1. Great write up Andrew, I learned a few things about our team mates.

    ...oh, and Andrew just upped his top speed by nearly 2 knots to 37.37 knots yesterday at Sandy Pont.

    :thumbs up emoticon!:

    -Mike Thomson


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