November 2 - 8, 2014: Issue 187
Don McManus - 55 Years In Surf Boats - 'The Don' of Rowing & Sweeping
Don McManus - 55 Years in Surf Boats (The Don)
On Saturday November 8th the first Boat Carnival of the Surf Life Saving season will run at Bilgola beach. This will be followed by Newport on November 22nd, Warriewood on December 6th an Ocean Thunder at Dee Why on December 13th and January 10th , Queenscliff Boat Carnival on January 17th, Manly Boat Carnival on January 24th, Freshwater Boat Carnival on January 26th and North Narrabeen’s Boat Bash on January 31st. the SNBV Boat Championships is scheduled at this stage (To Be Confirmed) for February 14th and the ASRL will be at Shellharbour this year over the weekend of 21-22 of February. The last Boat Carnival scheduled for the 2014-2015 season will be run at South Narrabeen on April 15th.
Surf boat racing is an exciting competition sport that brings some of Australia's best surf lifesavers together to test their knowledge, skill and fitness against each other. For many surf boats epitomise where those manning lighthouses and using whalers to save shipwreck victims met with open fishermen's boats and modified these to become savers of lives in a craft that could be launched from the beach to save swimmers in difficulty. There is a heritage that stems from missions of rescue of the late 1800's and extends into the 1950's and1960's where Pittwater surf boat crews were called out at night and during dangerous surf to reach those in danger when other vessels could not get out into, or back in from these seas.
The Australian passion for the surf, fitness, bravery and innovation means this sport is increasing in popularity even though boards, power boats and then IRB's and now jetskis are the surfcraft used for safety at carnivals and in rescues when needed. The Northern Beaches of Sydney can trace a surf boat history that starts at Barrenjoey with the Gow family and starts just as equally at Manly with the Sly family - we make no secret of our love for surf boats and surf boat racing.
To celebrate the opening of the Boat Carnivals season an insight into the rowing and sweeping career of a gentleman whose name is synonymous with surf boats, and who has seen them change from the heavy and cumbersome banana boats to this year’s fibreglass models, is current sweep at Bilgola SLSC – Don McManus.
Above: Winning World Titles crew at Lorne VIC 2006. L to R: Rowena Bull, Sally Macready, Carol, Don, Natalie Bruce and Natalie Gartner.
Below: Don with the Bilgola SLSC's 'Sweet Cheeks' in the Natalie Gartner - 2013 Bilgola SLSC SLSSNB Surf Boats Branch Premiership series.
North Narrabeen: 1962 – 1991 (Elected Life Member 1991)
Byron Bay: 1991 - 1993
North Narrabeen: 1993 - 1994
Bilgola: 1995 - current club
From 1961 to 1975, Don, as a rower, won four Branch Gold Medals, four Silver Medals. One N.S.W. Country Championships Gold Medal. One Gold and one Silver Medal at State Championships. One Silver and one Bronze Medal at Australian Championships. He has also won a Silver and Bronze Medal at the Australian Interstate Championships.
WON 1987 UNDER 18 AUSTRALIAN TITLE NORTH NARRABEEN
WON 1988 UNDER 18 AUSTRALIAN TITLE NORTH NARRABEEN
WON 1990 UNDER 21 AUSTRALIAN TITLE NORTH NARRABEEN
WON 1991 UNDER 21 AUSTRALIAN TITLE NORTH NARRABEEN
WON 1997 UNDER 18 AUSTRALIAN TITLE BILGOLA
WON 1997 OPEN MENS AUSTRALIAN TITLE BILGOLA
WON 2004 OPEN WOMENS AUSTRALIAN TITLE BILGOLA
WON 2005 OPEN WOMENS AUSTRALIAN TITLE BILGOLA
COACH AND SWEEP FOR FIRST GIRLS CREW AT Bilgola in 1995 - Don's contribution to Junior development throughout his career has been outstanding. Over the past 15 years Don has competed in and won the Branch and State point score competitions. He has also won the Australian Surfboat Rowers League point score competitions, numerous Grand Prix events.
Don has also represented in the Uncle Toby's Series. On three occasions he and his crew have represented the State in the Kellog's Nutri-Grain Series. He, and his Bilgola Open Boat Crew, have also competed for the New South Wales team in the National Surf League.
WON 2014 TRANS TASMAN TEST MATCH SERIES WITH BILGOLA GOLD MENS BILGOLA - winning 3 nil. L to R Jarrad King, Brendon Murray, Mitch Foran, Anthony O’Toole and Don McManus
Don has a total of 355 medals included in these are 34 Australian medals, 4 World Title medals and 3 runner up World Title medals. This averages out at 6.5 medals per season!
Mr JOHN BROGDEN (Pittwater—Leader of the Opposition) [5.42 p.m.1. Page: 7721 - 30 March 2004]: One of the great pleasures every member of Parliament has is praising a local organisation, an individual or a group of individuals for success in their endeavours. Today I pay a great tribute to Don McManus, the sweep for Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club. First, I need to declare my interest: I live in Bilgola, my wife patrols for Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club, and I am the patron of the club.
Mr Milton Orkopoulos: What about Flinders?
Mr JOHN BROGDEN: Flinders will be a nipper in Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club if he wants to be. It is a great club and its members are a great group of people. Graham Foran is a magnificent president. The past presidents, life members and all the members down to the nippers' mums and dads and the nippers themselves make it a fantastic club. I have the honour of representing Pittwater, and within my electorate there are 12 surf clubs, including South Narrabeen and North Palm Beach. As honourable members may be aware, the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships were held on 20 and 21 March at Kurrawa beach on the Gold Coast. The championships attracted more than 2,700 competitors.
There is much conjecture over what is and what is not the premier event at a surf carnival. I would argue that it is the surf boat race, and I am pleased to inform the House that the Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club women's crew won the championship and the colts crew, the under 21s, won the silver medal. It was a fantastic achievement by Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club. I pay tribute to the members of the women's crew: Lara Raymond, Melanie McPherson, Rowena Bull and Natalie Gartner. I know two of the girls very well. They have been long-time competitors. I cannot imagine how pleased, thrilled and excited they must have been when they crossed the line and won the gold medal.
I pay a strong tribute to Don McManus, a living treasure. We talk a lot about national living treasures. Don McManus would never think that his name would be raised in this House or that anyone would ever refer to him as a national treasure. He is a humble and down-to-earth man, but he is the silent backbone of Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club. He has won eight gold medals in his surf lifesaving career, only one medal behind the national record nine. He is not about to retire, so come 2005 and beyond he has every chance of equalling and surpassing the record. He will then hold the greatest number of gold medals in sweeping for surf boats in Australian history.
Fortuitously, I saw a snippet of the television coverage previewing the women's surf boat race final. The television interviewer said that Don McManus is a legend—and there is no doubt about that. He and his wife, Carol, and their family are all part of the surf life saving movement. Carol is a great supporter for Don and a great member of the club. She wears around her neck a pair of oars on a necklace. They are lovely, unassuming people. Don is a little less unassuming than Carol, who can be the life of the party. Don is a nice person who would have been so proud to have swept the girls to their victory. Seven gold medals is a great victory for him, but he takes more pride in and gets more joy out of seeing the team and the club benefit than he does for himself.
I congratulate the colts—Simon Crayfourd, Richard Bruce, Michael Haven and Mitchell Foran—who won the silver medal this year. There is every chance that they will win the gold medal next year. The club is doing exceptionally well. I am proud to be its patron and Lucy is proud to be a member. It is a terrific club, as are all the surf clubs in my electorate. I particularly praise Don McManus, who is well known around surf life saving in Australia. He is a terrific person and works extremely hard for surf life saving. He does his bit all the way down through the club. He is not in any sense a proud or boastful person. It is a pleasure for me to take this opportunity to put his name on the record so that all the people of New South Wales will know of his wonderful work, his commitment and his great pursuit of excellence in his years of surf life saving. I congratulate him on his eight gold medals, and I wish him luck for the eighth.
Ocean Thunder Pro Surf Boat Series
February 1, 2013 · Sydney’s Northern Beaches - The Former Home of Surfboats ???
Tomorrow’s final round of the Schick Hydro Ocean Thunder may see The Don McManus Trophy, awarded to the winners of the Women’s overall series point score go, for the first time to a crew from outside the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Whilst the Ken Murray Cup, awarded to winners of the Men’s overall series has gone to winners far and wide, remarkably The Don McManus Cup has never left Gods country.
The Don McManus Trophy named after Bilgola’s legendary sweep is in the grasp of the Western Australians leading into tomorrow’s final however Bilgola and Mona Vale remain in the hunt in a jam packed leader board.
According to Collaroy’s Jessica Layton “ whilst North Cottesloe are a tremendous rowing crew and clearly the crowds favourite, it would be hard to tip against Bilgola tomorrow in the expected big seas”
Bilgola Gold Surf Boat Crew Wins 2014 Trans-Tasman Test Match Series by Dennis O'Toole
Carol and Don McManus - Profile
Don McManus – Australian Surf Boat Team – Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Series. Australia Vs. New Zealand – February 8th, 2014.