Lit­tle Rock night­club bed­ding down in new spot

Nelson Mail - - FRONT PAGE - WAYNE MARTIN KATY JONES

Louise Cor­bett’s al­ready a win­ner.

What­ever hap­pens af­ter she crosses the start line in to­mor­row’s world Iron­man cham­pi­onships in Kona, Hawaii, the 54-year-old Nel­son mother of two has al­ready beaten the odds just by be­ing there.

In April, Cor­bett was in­volved in a hor­rific ac­ci­dent while on a train­ing ride in Rich­mond. A car crossed in front of her, forc­ing her to slam on the brakes and throw­ing her over her han­dle­bars at 53kmh.

She suf­fered a frac­tured skull, a brain bleed, mul­ti­ple or­bital frac­tures and breaks to her nose, ribs, wrist and shoul­der. She spent five days in hospi­tal – her dream of com­pet­ing at the world’s pre­mier Iron­man event seem­ingly shat­tered.

She’d amaz­ingly qual­i­fied for the world cham­pi­onship in her age group three weeks ear­lier af­ter just her sec­ond ever triathlon at this year’s New Zealand Iron­man champs in Taupo. And she ‘‘cried like a baby’’ when leg­endary Iron­man race an­nouncer Mike Reilly called her name as one of the suc­cess­ful qual­i­fiers for Kona.

But even while ly­ing in her hospi­tal bed, Cor­bett never once wa­vered in her be­lief that some­how she would make it to Hawaii.

‘‘In hospi­tal I said, ‘I’m still go­ing to Kona’ and noth­ing changed that, even when things were look­ing pretty grim,’’ Cor­bett said this week from Kona as she con­tin­ued her count­down to race day.

Re­mark­ably, it was only a month af­ter her ac­ci­dent that she be­gan re­stricted train­ing un­der the guid­ance of her coach Lionel Pa­dial.

‘‘What he has done in terms of putting to­gether a train­ing pro­gramme and sup­port­ing me through my ac­ci­dent has been noth­ing short of in­cred­i­ble.

‘‘It goes with­out say­ing of course that [Cor­bett’s hus­band] Wayne has A build­ing that’s been a des­ti­na­tion for Nel­son night rev­ellers for decades has been bought by prop­erty de­vel­op­ers.

Lit­tle Rock night­club on Bridge St is mov­ing to the for­mer site of the Shark Bar fur­ther down the street to­wards town, when the club’s lease ex­pires next April.

The build­ing has been bought by prop­erty group Gib­bons, who didn’t re­turn calls yes­ter­day.

Corey Tay­lor now co-owns the Lit­tle Rock club with his fa­ther, for­mer Nel­son hos­pi­tal­ity as­so­ci­a­tion branch chair­man, Ron Tay­lor, who has moved to Christchurch.

The club will take up half of the new site, with the other half com­pris­ing a bar called Tay­lor’s that opens next week­end.

‘‘Our lease was up and we chose not to re­new it down there, be­cause we saw a greater op­por- been my ab­so­lute rock in all of this. Hav­ing him and our kids, Tim and Chris, here [in Hawaii] to share this ex­pe­ri­ence means the world to me.

‘‘Ev­ery sin­gle day since my ac­ci­dent I have vi­su­alised cross­ing the Kona fin­ish line and hear­ing the voice of Iron­man Mike Reilly call my name. Some days that has been the only thing that has kept me go­ing.’’

Now six months on, Cor­bett’s about to defy seem­ingly over­whelm­ing odds sim­ply by mak­ing the start line.

‘‘I’m that ex­cited, I’m like a kid be­fore Christ­mas,’’ she said just three days out from the gru­elling 3.8km swim, 180km bike ride and marathon run. tu­nity down here,’’ said Corey Tay­lor.

‘‘It’s a bet­ter lo­ca­tion ... we can put a bar on one side that’s go­ing to have gam­ing and pool ta­bles and live mu­sic, and we can do what we al­ready do on the other side.’’

There was po­ten­tial to grow the busi­ness, he said.

‘‘Those that like live mu­sic, we think there’s a lit­tle bit of a mar­ket out there for it, and we’re still go­ing to of­fer what we do with the live DJ on the other side.’’

‘‘I know I’m go­ing to fin­ish it be­cause I know that the only way I won’t fin­ish is if the medic pulls me off the course. At the fin­ish line I’m go­ing to be such an emo­tional mess.

‘‘I’ve worked so hard men­tally and phys­i­cally to get here that I want to re­ally en­joy ev­ery mo­ment. I don’t want to be there at 12 o’clock at night but if that’s what it takes to get me there, then that’s what it’ll be.

‘‘But I’m here liv­ing the dream and my event on Satur­day (Sun­day NZ time), what­ever hap­pens, what­ever time I do here, I’m go­ing to drag my sorry arse across that fin­ish line and I’m go­ing to live the day.

‘‘Num­ber 816 will be go­ing hard.’’

The sale of the Shark Bar, for­merly owned by Steve Shep­herd, went through on Oc­to­ber 1.

Shep­herd said he sold up be­cause of es­ca­lat­ing costs, a chang­ing dy­namic among clien­tele, and to move on to other things.

‘‘There’s more reg­u­la­tion, li­cens­ing is more ex­pen­sive,’’ he said, adding he will be car­ry­ing out con­sult­ing work from now on.

Does the de­par­ture of two stal­warts of the Nel­son night scene sig­nal a chang­ing land­scape for the city’s nightlife? Corey Tay­lor doesn’t think so. The night scene ‘‘has changed a lit­tle bit, you used to get three or four nights a week out of it, now you sort of get two or three, so there might be one less night a week that is busier than it used to be,’’ he said.

‘‘It still goes well, but only on a Fri­day to Satur­day night, so we want to grow the mid week stuff, hence why we’re mov­ing.’’

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Louise Cor­bett has made a re­mark­able re­cov­ery af­ter a hor­ror crash just six months ago.

KATY JONES/ NEL­SON MAIL

The in­sti­tu­tion that is the Lit­tle Rock night­club is mov­ing down to where the Shark Bar used to be on Bridge St in cen­tral Nel­son.

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