Long weekend of sport pulled apart by weather
SPORT: It was expected to be a weekend of celebration as several major sporting events touched down in the Clarence Valley but it was all brought undone by a low pressure trough off the East Coast of Australia.
While some sports were only forced from the field for short periods at a time, others were not as lucky with cancellations running rampant across the June long weekend.
The Maclean Campdraft was the first event to pull the pin as organisers made the decision on Friday morning with the predicted deluge causing headaches at Maclean Showground.
It is the second year in a row that the campdraft has been at the mercy of the weather gods but Maclean Show Society have said they aim to reschedule the event for later this year.
The Lower Clarence Magpies catch-up clash from round one of the NRRRL season against Byron Bay Red Devils was also canned after Yamba copped about 130mm of rain overnight on Friday leaving the Yamba League Fields under a blanket of water.
It was a tough call for the Magpies club to make but, according to secretary Belinda Martyn, there was no other option.
"This game was meant to be played in round one but it was washed out then as well. I think it has a bit of a stigma with the water,” she said.
"We made a check on the field early on Saturday and there was just water everywhere. The carpark, the touch footy fields, the soccer fields ... the entire complex was covered.
"There was just too much risk to both players and spectators if we went ahead with the game.”
Martyn admitted that, with the lack of gate takings and reduced exposure for the club, the missed clash could come back to hurt them.
"The thing is, we are in the process of rebuilding so not having a game at home does hurt us as a club. It was the long weekend as well so we had a chance to be the only league game on,” she said.
The club will now look to hold the fixture at a later date as they liaise with Byron Bay Red Devils to find one that suits both clubs.
Only around the corner from the Magpies, a group of hardy masters swimmers refused to let the wet keep them from taking to the pool as they forged full steam ahead with the Clarence River Masters Swim Carnival fielding more than 100 competitors from across the eastern seaboard.
While the upper Clarence catchments did not cop as big of a deluge as the Yamba region, sports still took a major hit with events rubbed out across Grafton.
Clarence River Jockey Club was forced to abandon its Ulmarra 'Chip In' Cup race day meeting (more P22), but still managed to host more than 1000 people for the Grafton Truck Show.
Grafton City Tennis Club was forced to abandon action during their annual North Coast Tennis Championships over the weekend with the deluge making their Prince St courts unplayable.
The club did move a few of its junior fixtures to the Grafton District Services Club just to get some action on the courts, and will try to resume the Silver AMT and Bronze junior tournament events today.
It was a similar story for the pit bike crew at Glenugie as organisers were forced to call an early finish to the Greef Clothing Mini X Cup.
The biggest pit bike racing event in Australia was all systems go before the deluge turned the Glenugie Downs track into a mud pit. Greef Clothing's Ryan Cochrane said it was a shame to call off the event but organisers would be looking to reschedule to a later date, most likely in August.
"We are going to postpone the Mini X Cup for now,” he said. "It is a real shame because a lot of the blokes were really keen for the competition and we did have a good night on the Friday, so we are definitely keen to get it happening again sometime later this year.”
Cochrane said the light showers early on Friday had appeared to work in the event's favour but, as the deluge continued, any hopes of competing faded.
"The early showers really just sealed the track down and it was perfect. All the boys were frothing for a good run,” he said. "But the rain turned the track into a muddy bog. There were still a few loose units that got on the track and were willing to shred in the mud, so at least everyone had a good time.”