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June 7, 2012
Smiling at One Mile
SAND AND SURF: FLGOFF Nick Colless-White shows his shortboard style. Inset: our female strike force, from left, Toni Chalmers, ACW Vicky Voyzey and CPL Keichelle Oldis.
SQNLDR Mark Evans won the
men's longboard, ACW Vicky
Voyzey won the women's short-
board and Air Force finished first
and fourth in the tag team event.
In the teams championship, Air
Force compiled 58 points, Navy 40
points and Army 37 points.
Before this year, the impetus for
the Air Force team came from the
Williamtown Boardriders Club.
But in March, the Air Force
Surf Riders Association (AFSRA)
was formed and 28 RAAFies were
enticed for the inter-service titles.
It has to be said Navy only
turned up with 13 surfers, due to
work and personal commitments
-- but that does not take away from
some of the magnificent perfor-
mances that came from Air Force.
Away from his prowess on the
longboard, SQNLDR Evans is also
He says there was a concerted
campaign this year to spread the
word and recruit surfers.
For instance, last year Air Force
had no female surfers -- although
they were entitled to four in the
team -- and this cost valuable points;
points Air Force could ill afford not
But this year there were three
women in the team, including
reservist ACW Voyzey, who won
the women's shortboard at her first
WHAT goes around
comes around. In the
Air Force's surfing
team's case, it took a
In April 2004 an Air Force cor-
poral organised the inaugural inter-
service contest at One Mile Beach,
It was won by Navy. The next
year it was won by Army. Then Navy
won six years in a row. Air Force was
a close second in 2010 and 2011, but
was let down by lack of numbers.
Well, from May 14 to 18 the
Inter-service Surf Competition
(ISSC) returned to One Mile Beach
-- and this time was a very different
story. A very sweet story for Air
FSGT Rick Pfeiffer won
the men's shortboard category,
Air Force surfers take service bragging rights after nine years' trying. John Martin reports.
Stand-up paddleboard: LCDR Steve
Johnson 1, MAJ Matt Carr 2, CPL Trevor
Marshall (Air Force) 3.
Men's shortboard: FSGT Rick Pfeiffer 1,
Dr Chris Shanahan (RAAF) 2, PTE Ben
Women's shortboard: ACW Vicky
Voyzey 1, CPL Keichelle Oldis (RAAF) 2,
LT Denna Fryer 3.
Longboard: SQNLDR Mark Evans 1, LS
Chad Poland 2, LS Nathan Adamson 3.
Tag team: 1st Air Force 2; 2nd Navy 1;
3rd tie Army 1, Air Force 1, Navy; 4th
Service championship: Air Force 58
points, Navy 40 points, Army 37 points.
Best and fairest: Air Force: CPL Stuart
Johnson. Navy: AB Ben Smeeth. Army:
WO2 Martin Fisher.
attempt. ACW Voyzey was encour-
aged to enter by FLTLT Luke
Shepherd at 4SQN.
"I don't know Luke personally,"
says SQNLDR Evans. "But thank-
fully he knows Vicki."
The first of the heats was con-
ducted in a challenging six-foot
swell in which one Navy surfer
snapped his shortboard.
By the finals three days later, the
water was 20 degrees, the swell was
one-to-1.2 metres and there was a
slightly offshore breeze.
"Competition was fierce with
shouts from the crowd at a number
of spectacular wipe-outs or difficult
manoeuvres," SQNLDR Evans says.
"A tag team challenge event on
the day also contributed to overall
scoring for service champion.
"This event composed six teams
of six surfers running from the
beach into the water, surfing three
waves max, and then returning to
the beach to tag the next runner
from their respective service --
each team to be finished within 90
minutes or begin to lose points."
His own final was held last of all
"Watching [the finalists in the
other categories] going for it, the
hoots and shouts from the crowd,
were inspiring," SQNLDR Evans
"I was reminded how lucky we
were for the great conditions and
the camaraderie that now continues
after the event has gone.
"The finals results weren't
revealed until the presentations that
evening. I thought I had surfed well,
but when I saw some of the waves
the other finalists got and how well
they had surfed them, I thought I
could have finished last. I had no
idea who had won and was com-
pletely surprised and stoked when
they announced it was me."
He felt extra satisfied the team
had won, too.
You could excuse ACW Voyzey,
without any history in the titles,
failing to realise the gravity of the
win -- until she saw that Air Force's
name didn't figure on the trophy.
It does now. It's ours for a year.
Army was the chief organiser of
this year's event.
But Army Surf Riders
Association president MAJ Matt
Carr says the event was truly tri-
"Navy ran the day-to-day com-
petition and Air Force acted as safe-
ty management," MAJ Carr said.
"An annual general meeting is
held during the event to prepare for
an application to the ADF sports
council to approve surf-riding as an
officially recognised ADF sport.
"Future competitions are hope-
ful to include a wide range of surf-
riding sports such as body-boarding
and open water racing. It is also
hoped that challenges can be made
to foreign forces surf clubs such as
the US and UK."
SQNLDR Evans says the
AFSRA's quest to spread the word
"We are always looking for peo-
ple interested in surfing to join and
intend to have details on the intranet
soon," he said.
For more information, contact SQNLDR
Mark Evans at mark.evans5@defence.
BOARD MEETING: Air Force Surf Riders Association president
SQNLDR Mark Evans gets out of the office. Photo: WO2 Mark Dowling
Watching them going for
it, the hoots and shouts
from the crowd, was
-- SQNLDR Mark Evans
Photo: WO2 Mark Dowling
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