Monday, November 7, 2011

Noosa and Mur'bah - Bikes and bands

Here’s an unusual double - from the Noosa Triathlon on October 30 to the Killer Swim in Murwillumbah on November 27. Noosa is  huge with 7500 punters. That would be like the whole population of Murwillumbah turning up at the rowing club to have a dip in the Tweed River.
Here’s another bit of trivia. When you come over the hill at Noosa and down towards Hastings Street, the whole of Lions Park off to your left is a sea of bicycles (a plethora of pelotons) on the triathlon  weekend – about 7000 of them ranging from the latest carbon fibre wonders with (I am not making this up) aerodynamically shaped drink bottles. At the other end of the scale are some surprisingly banged up old things. We took $4000 or $5000 as a conservative average. Really conservative because these people will spend $3000 to $4000 on a set of wheels. But at $4000, there’s $28 million in bicycles in the park, or $35 million if you take a $5000 average.
Money is no object when you can buy time in a race. Maybe it should be like craft events in surf lifesaving. You bring your ski or board in to be weighed before the national championships, and if it’s too light, they add weights.
The 1500m swim leg is in Weyba Creek. Considering how close you are to the blue waters of Noosa’s Laguna Bay, this is pretty average. But you can see that it would be a nightmare getting the whole field across Hastings Street, especially when you have to close the roads for about six hours.
In Murwillumbah, well, it’s not like Noosa. Good, you say. I agree. It doesn’t have as many coffee shops but it also doesn’t have as many round-abouts either. There’s nothing like the Riverview Hotel in Mur'bah and nothing like the former resident band, James T and the Tomahawks. Their CD has become my music of choice for heading off to the various swim events. This is the only way you’ll hear them now because apparently there’s been a split. I’m hoping the Tomahawks will be a little like grandad’s axe – a new head and a couple of new handles but it’s still a bloody good axe.
It’s hard to explain the attraction of Murwillumbah – a little fund raiser for the Fingal Rovers surf club. Some swims you do if there’s nothing else on. But you have a core group that you keep the calendar clear. It’s great to be part of those monster events like Noosa because you can feel the energy. Murwillumbah is more like a swim with a few mates – who you still want to beat but it’s all good fun.
Roger Muspratt

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