Norah Hammerheads

The beginnings of a new spearfishing club on the Central Coast

At the start of February, the discussion came up between a few mates Alex and Craig Bond, Brett Carter, Beau Mellon & myself about a spearfishing club based at the north end of the Central Coast. As much as we loved diving with, and being part of the Central Coast Sealions, the distance was a problem for us getting to the meetings and dives that were out of Terrigal. The Central Coast is a huge area, and it can take an hour and a half, or more, to get from one end to the other.

The discussion was had with a few of the Sealions committee, and once it was explained about the reasons behind our decision, we had the blessing of our southern Central Coast brethren, and we were away brainstorming.

This was something that we were motivated to make happen, so it was time to start thinking of a name and where we would call home. Norah Head was a no brainer for us, most of the crew that was part of the discussion were only about 15 minutes from there, so that was locked in. Then the question, what was to be our mascot? A few ideas were floated around (pun intended) Norah Head Sea Wasps, no, too close to Sealions. Norah Head Tridents or Vikings, nah, then a few joke names like The Lake Macquarie Mermen and my son Flynn said we should call ourselves the Fishy Fellas. Then it came – The Norah Hammerheads. We had a name!

What’s the next thing a club needs? A space for meetings and presentations etc. The hunt began for a spot that had a few key things for us. Enough room to accommodate 10-20 people, surely that’s enough for a start -club, space for our kids to go and play (get out of our hair for a little bit), a good feed and cold beer. Brett visited a few places before coming across a hidden gem, the Norah Head Sporties. Well the name fits with ours, so big tick there. Time to test the food and beer, tick again. A meeting was set up with the CEO and not long into our talk she told us that their club was in need of a new sporting group for them to sponsor, so a few things were thrown back and forth and we had an agreement for The Norah Head Sporties to be our first sponsor and be our home base.

So, we set up our first meeting and decided that for us and people with families and work commitments that a Sunday afternoon would be a great time for a meeting. Then we could have the meeting and then if anyone wanted to, they could stick around for dinner or drink and have a bit more of a relaxed catch up. And what a meeting it was! Not long after our start time of 4.30 the room started filling up fast, and by the time everyone piled in there was standing room only.

Then an intro to our Club’s committee – Alex Bond was chairing the meeting and was to head up the Club as President, he has been diving since he was washing pee out of his dad’s wetsuits and his passion to teaching his own kids about the sustainability of spearfishing and building their skills in the sport is amazing to see, nobody better for this role. Brett Carter as Vice President, another great advocate for the sport that has been diving since he was (still is) a young fella. He is always available to offer advice wherever he can help, just make sure to double check comp start times that he tells you. Craig Bond as Treasurer. Now there wouldn’t be many around the spearing community that don’t know Craig, with his wealth (and years) of knowledge, I know he has taught me a thing or 2 in the few dives I have been with him, he has plenty of experience in the committee side of clubs and will be a key to keeping us in line and on track for our goals. Beau Mellon as Sports Secretary, Beau was the very first person I dove with when starting out and for a young bloke he is definitely one of the best spearos I have been out with. And then myself, Justin Elsey, as Secretary. Only a few years in the sport, but absolutely love it and the friendships that I have made over my time doing it. If I’m not in the water, I’m out on it in my boat. 

We were also lucky enough to have Bob McComb attend and give the fresh and experienced divers a in the room a detailed talk about the USFA.

After all the formalities were done with, a count of the membership applications we had taken in for the day. 33 including us!! We did not expect that at all! The next day we also had another 3 join us, bringing the total to 36, and the breakdown of the following classes 5x sub junior, 2x junior, 2x intermediate, 13x senior, 7x veteran, 6x ladies and 1x Grand Master. And we still have a few more messaging us about joining up, so we are all very thankful for the support received so far and are extremely excited to see where this is going to take us.  

Justin – Norah Hammerheads

Club Secretary

[email protected]

We’ve sunk the Boat!

It was New Years Eve in 1995 when Mark Colys and Zane O’Brien phoned me up. They were camped at Park Beach Caravan Park, Coffs Harbour, for their annual holidays with family. Mark and Zane were keen for a dive on New Years Day.

I had met Mark down at the National Titles in Eden in 1994, one year earlier (which he won).  It was over 1,000kms drive each way to the Aussie Championships, so I talked my good mate Wally Gibbins from Sawtell into accompanying me for some companionship.

I was living at Sandy Beach, NSW, and the long drive to Eden was one never to be forgotten with Wally as Co-pilot, and Ted Lehman from Sydney also. The stories that Wally told us in great detail of his adventures in the Solomon Islands – how he salvaged all the scrap bronze propellers he could from wartime wrecks, to how he and the natives collected tons of both live and dead ammunition from the sea floor for sale – seemed to be both adrenalin filled, and endless. Wally was to spear-fishing, what Zane Grey was to game-fishing – a pioneer sportsman, avid storyteller, and adventurer the likes of which we may never see again on the planet. Continue reading We’ve sunk the Boat!