Brea to fly Aussie flag

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Classies Classies -

Hard work, de­ter­mi­na­tion and a nat­u­ral com­pet­i­tive spirit has as­sisted lo­cal cham­pion kayaker Brea Roadley with another call up on the Aus­tralian team for the up­com­ing 2017 ICF World Ca­noe Marathon Cham­pi­onships to be held in South Africa early this Septem­ber.

But if that wasn’t enough the long-stand­ing Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Ca­noe Club mem­ber will also be fly­ing the Aus­tralian flag in the World Surf­ski Clas­sic in Mau­ri­tius in late June.

It will be the sec­ond time Brea has made the Aus­tralian team for the World Ca­noe Marathon Cham­pi­onships but it will be the first time she tack­les ocean kayak­ing at the high­est level.

Re­mark­ably Brea only took up ocean pad­dling af­ter gain­ing a free en­try into an ad­ven­ture race for win­ning a re­lay race at the lo­cal Mur­ray Quad event last year. But her years of pad­dling on the Mur­ray River and Lake Mul­wala have made the con­ver­sion to surf­ski a smooth tran­si­tion.

“It’s all new to me but I am en­joy­ing it. I am com­pletely stoked about it. I hear the con­di­tions in Mau­ri­tius are re­ally big and re­ally rough. We get there a week early so I can get used to the con­di­tions,” Brea said.

Now liv­ing and study­ing in Mel­bourne Brea has the added ad­van­tage of train­ing with Peak Ad­ven­ture out of San­dridge Life Sav­ing Club in Port Mel­bourne. She also trains at Torquay to fa­mil­iarise her­self in more rough con­di­tions.

“The surf­ski is a breath of fresh air. It feels like an achieve­ment each time I get through the vary­ing con­di­tions in a much big­ger boat,” She said.

But it hasn’t been all smooth ‘pad­dling’ for Brea. She still suf­fers from the side ef­fects of glan­du­lar fever that she con­tracted in De­cem­ber and had to bat­tle through an in­ter­rupted train­ing regime to get to the Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onships in Syd­ney.

But the bad luck didn’t stop there for Brea.

Pair­ing up with Mon­tan­nah Mur­ray from Cronulla’s Suther­land Kayak­ing Club the girls showed great de­ter­mi­na­tion to fin­ish in sec­ond place, over-com­ing chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances with their dou­ble kayak be­ing dam­aged by an un­avoid­able ob­sta­cle on the course.

The in­ci­dent vir­tu­ally sunk their kayak, slow­ing them down dra­mat­i­cally and they even­tu­ally fin­ished out­side the au­to­matic Aus­tralian team se­lec­tion time.

Un­for­tu­nately the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee would not take the in­ci­dent into con­sid­er­a­tion and they were not se­lected for the team. But af­ter two months of ap­peal­ing with the gov­ern­ing body the girls were even­tu­ally se­lected.

Brea said it was a dif­fi­cult process but they knew the se­lec­tion com­mit­tee would even­tu­ally see their side of the story.

“We had a lot of sup­port from every­one. With­out this sup­port it would have been hard to keep go­ing and keep train­ing. It was over­whelm­ing. It’s now bit­ter­sweet and we are fo­cused more than ever,” Brea said.

De­spite liv­ing in sep­a­rate states the girls will be work­ing hard mak­ing the com­mit- ment to travel so they can train and com­pete in events in the lead up to rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralia in the Open Fe­male K2 event in early Septem­ber.

Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Ca­noe Club Pres­i­dent Jared Lough­nan said Brea’s progress in the sport has been fan­tas­tic for her and for the small club.

“Brea’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to per­form at the best of her abil­ity no mat­ter what cir­cum­stance con­fronts her is in­spi­ra­tional and our club is for­tu­nate to have such a great role model.

“This is one of the main rea­sons the club has been suc­cess­ful in at­tract­ing many lo­cal ju­nior fe­males to the sport,” Jared said.

But to get to South Africa and Mau­ri­tius, Brea needs your sup­port. Brea and Mon­tan­nah are re­spon­si­ble for their own ac­com­mo­da­tion, travel, nutri­tion, pur­chase of Aus­tralian team uni­form and trans­port of equip­ment. So to help the girls, the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Am­a­teur Ca­noe Club is look­ing for your sup­port.

There are num­ber of ways or­gan­i­sa­tions, busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als can as­sist in sup­port­ing Brea. If you are in­ter­ested please contact Tim Roadley on 0417 373 376 or tim­ or Jared Lough­nan on 0419 336 884.

Brea Roadley will rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in both the flat­wa­ter kayak and surf­ski dis­ci­plines this year.

Brea pic­tured last year in the gru­elling 124km Avon De­scent in West­ern Aus­tralia.

Brea pic­tured pad­dling in the dif­fi­cult but fast K1 rac­ing kayak.

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