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By FLTLT Trevor Grant
COMPETITORS from all over
eastern Australia gathered on the
NSW south coast in early January
to participate in the biennial George
Bass Surfboat Marathon.
Sponsored by Navy, the seven-
day race follows the route George
Bass first rowed with his crew in
1797 while exploring the east coast
Beginning at Batemans Bay,
competitors rowed more than 190km
of the original route to Eden during
Navy's beach team manager
CMDR Rod Harrod said the mara-
thon was an extremely arduous event
and tested every competitor to their
"This event tested competitors
courage, strength and teamwork --
all core values of the RAN," CMDR
But it's not just about the rowers;
like the competing teams, CMDR
Harrod had a small dedicated team
of sailors who gave up their New
Year break to support the race.
CMDR Harrod said that, without
the support in the background from
all of the volunteers (Navy, surf club
members, St John Ambulance and
the families of competitors), the race
would not happen.
His beach team of CPO Kel
Bryant, LS Dana Richards and SMN
Janelle Price, actively engaged the
February 4, 2010
By Michael Brooke
FORMER sailor Julian Hart was recent-
ly awarded an Australia Day Medallion
in recognition of 17 years dedicat-
ed service to the RAN as the Ship's
Movements Officer at Port Services
Mr Hart, who has recorded a com-
bined 45 years in the Navy and the APS,
received the Medallion and framed certif-
icate from CO Kuttabul, CMDR Christine
Clarke, at a morning tea on January 25.
The proud old salt, who swallowed
the anchor in 1992 after 28 years service
in the Navy, received the award for meet-
ing the ideals set by the Australia Day
CMDR Clarke said the Medallion was
awarded in appreciation of Mr Hart's
devotion to the RAN and its core values,
through his outstanding supervision and
provision of operational support of the
"Your enthusiastic and professional
manner, underpinned by your excellent
management and safety-focused coor-
dination skills, have been pivotal in the
continued and effective operation of the
Port Services Organisation, and have
directly contributed to the timely and
fluid provision of operational capability
in support of the Fleet and visiting for-
eign warships," CMDR Clarke said.
The certificate was signed by
COMAUSFLT RADM Steve Gilmore.
Mr Hart is one of several dozen Navy
personnel to be awarded an Australia Day
Medallion in 2010.
Australia Day Achievement
Medallions provide Government depart-
ments and agencies with the opportunity
to acknowledge the contribution of their
staff for outstanding performance of spe-
cial projects or in performance of their
Old salt saluted
on Australia Day
PROUD SERVICE: LCDR Gerry Savvakis, Julian Hart and CMDR Christine
Clarke take a moment to pose for the camera after Mr Hart received an
Australia Day Medallion in recognition of his service to the RAN.
large crowds that gathered on the
beaches for the start and finish of
"We had lots of work to do set-
ting up at the start and then packing
up to reset at the finish so the crowds
waiting had something to do," CPO
LS Richards, also a member of
the Shellharbour Surf Lifesaving
Club, said that, as a rower, partici-
pating in the George Bass race was a
great achievement that rowers would
remember for the rest of their lives.
"Supporting the race is some-
thing to be proud of and something
that gives you a great deal of pleas-
ure," LS Richards said.
One Navy participant, CMDR
Peta Blake, a Reserve Dental Officer,
is a member of the Bermagui Surf
Lifesaving Club based on the south
coast of NSW and has been involved
in surfboat rowing for a number of
"The George Bass marathon is
one of the most gruelling events I
have ever done,"CMDR Blake said.
The rain, wind and heavy sea
conditions didn't deter CMDR Blake
and the rest of her team from push-
ing on to the end of the marathon.
"For me to not only participate
but to actually finish is great. I take
my hat off to those original explor-
ers that rowed from Sydney, around
Tasmania and back."
HAPPY TO HELP: LS Dana Richards, SMN Janelle Price and CPO
Kel Bryant were part of the beach team supporting the race.
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