Hamilton and Casterton take out titles

Casterton celebrates winning the Warrnambool Colts Country division two title. 090109DW72 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE”That allowed Brandon to set up good fields.”The coach and captain agreed the standard of country week had dropped slightly.”There’s still three or four very classy players in each side but I think the competition fell away a little bit,” Forsyth said. “It wasn’t as strong as the last couple of years.”In other division one matches, South West’s week went from bad to worse as the reigning premier went down to runner-up Warrnambool Red.Jyles Lebler contributed 65 runs to Red’s total of 168.South West managed just 98.Horsham Blue thrashed Wimmera Mallee by 85 runs while Grassmere defeated Portland by 34 runs.Casterton was the mouse that roared in division two, edging out Warrnambool to claim a second title.Coach Terry Ough said it was a special achievement for the Casterton and District Cricket Association, which was made up of just six senior and two junior teams.”That’s why this week is just a wonderful week for them,” he said.”A lot of the boys that come up also play senior cricket.”Casterton beat Wimmera-Mallee yesterday to finish with four wins and one loss, the same record as Warrnambool. It finished on 44.35 points, with Warrnambool accumulating 41.66.The winning association was well led by captain Callum Currie, who added to its bonus points tally when he made 106 in just 13 overs during a second innings against South West on Tuesday.He also scored a brilliant 87 yesterday.
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Aggression drives leader: Kane to race hard for tri-city rounds

Darren Kane won’t be holding back at Premier.NATIONAL Super Sedan Series leader Darren Kane yesterday pledged an aggressive racing outlook for the tri-city rounds, which culminate at Premier Speedway tomorrow night.The 40-year-old Ipswich driver has a buffer of more than 100 points on his nearest rival Wayne Brims after four rounds but isn’t falling for the tactical mental trap of defending his advantage.”I’m just going to treat it like I did the first three rounds . . . try to win the round,” Kane said.”I just don’t want to be protective of the series lead because that’s when it goes belly up. My dad always taught me when you race a car you race as hard as you can. If you are protective all the time the aggressors will pass you.”Kane attributes his success to the quality of equipment produced by his Ipswich employer, Boettcher Race Parts.The Dominator bar chassis, powered by a 362ci Ford Windsor engine, carried him to third in the opening round at Brisbane International Speedway, followed by runaway victories at Rockhampton in round two and Toowoomba in round three – as well as setting new track records.”It’s an unbelievable car,” Kane said.”It’s a new design that we built in-house. It’s a lot lighter than the one we had last year.”The car runs a Mazda RX8 body, in keeping with the extended business interests of team owner Ian Boettcher, who also runs a Mazda, Nissan and VW dealership in Ipswich.An engine vibration cut the team’s night short in round four at Dubbo but with leading series contenders Brims and Mick Nicola also failing to reach the feature it wasn’t a costly DNF for Kane.The series pacemaker and other contracted drivers face a demanding east coast loop with rounds at Hamilton last night, Mount Gambier tonight and Allansford tomorrow.With super sedans absent from Premier Speedway for several years, Kane said the track shaped as a neutral venue.”I’ve heard it’s a very good track – very fast and grippy,” he said.”We don’t go to a lot of tracks where we can pass a lot.”Kane, formerly of Tasmania, has a strong speedway pedigree across 22 seasons of racing.He is a three-time Tasmanian champion, 2004 Australian champion and the reigning Queensland champion.Gates open tomorrow at 4pm, with racing from 6pm.
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Jones skims surface: Top effort at states

Isaac Jones set a new personal benchmark at the Victorian titles with six medals.081030AM32 Picture: ANGELA MILNEWARRNAMBOOL Swimming Club surged back up the competitive standings at the Victorian Age Championships this week in Melbourne.Head coach Jayson Lamb yesterday praised the team of 12 swimmers who represented the club at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.He said it was the best performance in his four years as coach.Led by Isaac Jones, who won the 13 years age champion award with six medals, Warrnambool finished 21st out of 101 clubs on the points aggregate.”I’m really pleased with it,” Lamb said.”The kids performed really well with medals, national qualifying times and PBs.”Isaac set a new personal benchmark at the titles with silver medals in 200-metre butterfly, 100-metre backstroke and bronze medals in 200-metre backstroke, 100-metre butterfly and 100 and 200-metre freestyle.He also produced six national age qualifying times.Dylan Lee, of Terang, claimed his first state age medal by finishing third in the 13 years 100-metre backstroke.He set a personal best time in the process, as well as a national qualifying time.Others to reach finals were Jordan Logan (15 years 100m backstroke), Will Shepherd (14 years 100m & 200m butterfly), Matthew Logan (18 years 200m breaststroke, 200m backstroke) and Brittney Berger (13 years 200m backstroke). Jordan and Will also set national qualifying times.Kayla Spicer set a national qualifying time for 13 years 50-metre freestyle, swimming the first leg of a relay.The national age championships are held in April.
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Charity the winner in grudge challenge

(From left) Kurt Haberfield, Michael Walsh and and Ben Wolff warm up for today’s Backyard Ashes match. 090109AM10 Picture: ANGELA MILNE “Parents, aunties, uncles, friends – it’s hard to not know someone that has been affected by cancer and this is a fun way to raise money for a serious issue.” Michael WalshHOWZAT! The well-known summer sporting cry will ring out across Emmanuel College’s oval today when two teams representing the Cally Hotel and Whalers Inn get together to raise funds for cancer from 12.15pm.Organiser Michael Walsh said the Backyard Ashes match had been a summer favourite since it started as a casual game between mates more than five years ago.”We always played backyard games between each other over a couple of beers and it’s grown into a public match,” Mr Walsh said.”The Australian cricket team was gearing up for a backyard cricket campaign and we thought we would get involved locally.”The players will wear red and green baggy caps denoting their respective pubs, with pink wickets and a Backyard Ashes trophy all adding to the spirit of the day.Mr Walsh said more than $700 was raised at last year’s charity match and hoped to equal that amount for Relay for Life this year.”Parents, aunties, uncles, friends – it’s hard to not know someone that has been affected by cancer and this is a fun way to raise money for a serious issue,” he said.And while the Australian cricket team has been copping plenty of criticism of late, Mr Walsh said winning wasn’t everything – but there would be some friendly rivalry.”We (Whalers Inn) won it last year so it might be the Cally’s turn but we’ll definitely give it our best shot,” he said.”The winning team gets a few beers at the pub afterwards and a bit of lively banter goes on during the match but it’s all in the name of fun.”
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Summer show ready to rod ‘n’ roll

Geelong rodders Jenny Lawrie (left), Mark Vale, Bill Fanning and Terry Pyle admire the wheels of Hamilton’s Josh Fry, who will have his radical chopper bike on display at tomorrow’s Show ‘n’ Shine at Southcombe Park in Port Fairy.090109AM03 Picture: ANGELA MILNEPROUD owners are applying a final coat of polish for tomorrow’s annual South West Street Rodders Show ‘n’ Shine.More than 250 modified, customised and restored cars will converge on Port Fairy’s Southcombe Park for the event, now in its 17th year.Organiser Paul Hutchins said the display was a highlight o the Moyneyana Festival program with locals and tourists alike getting involved.”Not only do we get people coming from across the state, we get people from Sydney and Adelaide driving down here to be a part of it and enjoy the Port Fairy sunshine,” he said.”We get all types of makes and models from hot rods, street racers, Monaros, GT Falcons – there’s such a big cross-section.”Geelong’s Mark Vale said the display day was a great chance for vintage and classic car enthusiasts like himself to get together.”I’ve been coming down here to Port Fairy for four years now and it keeps getting bigger year after year,” he said.Mr Vale said it was the first time he had displayed his yellow 1935 Ford Coupe at the seaside town since buying it two months ago.”It’s great to be able to show your car to like-minded people and get their feedback on how they’ve restored their car and the history behind them.”
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Cyclists warned: Rail trail a rough ride

VICTORIA’S peak cycling body has warned that the recently-opened Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail is only suitable for experienced riders.Bicycle Victoria is not recommending the 36-km trail to beginner riders or people riding bikes that are not sturdy.”Currently, it is ideally tackled by more experienced and adventurous riders, preferably with mountain bikes or equally hardy bicycles and suspension is definitely an asset,” the organisation warns on its website.”There is no doubt that this trail oozes potential. Based on the conclusions delivered by our recent rail trail study, we know that riders prioritise scenery, views and natural attractions when deciding what trails to ride. This trail already ticks those boxes and then some.”It says the trail’s surface is “very much a work in progress”, requiring further effort to bring it up to a good standard for bicycle riders.”The surface material is still loose and rocky in many places. Due to the choice of material, the surface will stay rough until there is a chance to bring heavy rolling machinery in to flatten down the surface.”Bicycle Victoria said it would continue to work with the trail’s management committee to deliver a better riding surface for bikes.Corangamite Shire provided just $15,000 towards the rail trail’s construction and management, with $250,000 coming from the State Government and $207,000 from BHP Billiton.This compares with a $50,000 shire contribution for the Skipton to Ballarat Rail Trail, which also opened late last year.The entire length of the Camperdown-Timboon route runs through the shire, compared to only 10 per cent of the 53km-long Skipton-Ballarat route.Councillor Matt Makin is pushing for the shire to play a “more significant role” in maintaining the proposed $5.4 million Twelve Apostles Trail that will link Timboon to Port Campbell and Princetown along the Great Ocean Road.
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Grand lady’s century: Old steamer’s eclectic career

John Lindsay, who helped get Rowitta to Warrnambool in the 1970s, surveys the steam ferry this week.090109DW04 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE The ship gets transported to Flagstaff Hill in 1974. John Lindsay, who helped get Rowitta to Warrnambool in the 1970s, surveys the steam ferry this week.090109DW04 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE The ship gets transported to Flagstaff Hill in 1974.
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EVEN though she ran out of steam several decades ago, Flagstaff Hill’s Rowitta notched up a century this week and is still going strong.The steam ferry has been the centre point at the maritime village for the past 30 years after its first voyage in 1909 between Hobart and Launceston.For 30 years, the Rowitta became the ‘grand lady of the Tamar’ in her role as a passenger ferry on the Tamar River between Launceston and Kelso.After this she had many purposes, working as a freighter, an army vessel, a luxury charter ferry, a floating restaurant and at one stage was proposed to be a floating casino in Lakes Entrance.Probably its most unruly voyage was its journey across dry land from the Warrnambool breakwater to Flagstaff Hill’s display lake in 1974.Former Chamber of Commerce chairman John Lindsay said getting the vessel into the maritime village was not an easy task.”We were very keen to restore timber hull ships rather than iron hull ones so as to create a maritime village as close in resemblance to what one might have seen in the time just after settlement,” he said.”My wife and I went down to Lakes Entrance and negotiated the purchase of the Rowitta for $20,000 which was being used by the owner for prawn fishing.”The vessel was bought by the Warrnambool City Council and State Government when Flagstaff Hill was in its infancy. The base structure of the Rowitta bore striking similarities to that of the Speculant, which was owned by local businessman Peter McGennan.Mr Lindsay said the inclusion of the Rowitta highlighted the importance that shipping had on Warrnambool’s early social and economic development.”Everything from the floor down is identical to McGennan’s Speculant which was a key part of the port of Warrnambool during the turn of the century,” he said.Flagstaff Hill manager Peter Abbott said the Rowitta was still in demand as a function venue.”It’s a great venue for many types of functions and its also part of our sound and light show so the Rowitta’s definitely got plenty of years left in her yet,” he said.

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Primary teaching top pick: Most popular course

PRIMARY teaching has made the grade as Deakin University’s most popular course at its Warrnambool campus this year.Close to 100 students have enrolled in the four-year course in 2009, ahead of nursing with 79 students and marine biology, with 65 first preferences.The Warrnambool campus outperformed its Deakin counterparts in Geelong and Melbourne – the south-west tertiary institution enjoying a 22 per cent rise in first preferences over 2008.Deakin’s Melbourne Campus at Burwood was up seven per cent on first preferences from last year, the Waurn Ponds campus was up 11 per cent and Geelong’s Waterfront campus was up three per cent.Deakin acting vice-chancellor Professor John Rosenberg said the university had worked hard to make its courses relevant to the needs of students and employers. “This is the fifth year in a row that new student preferences have increased at Deakin,” he said.”(We continue) to demonstrate leadership by providing more choice and widening access to higher education, particularly for students in rural and regional Australia.” New courses added at the start of 2007, law (270 per cent up) and psychology (63 per cent up) were popular.It is the highest increase in first-preference applications at the Warrnambool campus since 1997, when potential student figures jumped by 24 per cent.
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Hot target warns: beef up security or lose out

Dive Inn Shop owner Mark Woodgate urges businesses to upgrade security after a $20,000 theft at his store. 090105LP07 Picture: LEANNE PICKETTA WARRNAMBOOL business- man who was robbed of almost $20,000 worth of stock is urging other city store owners to upgrade their security systems.Suspected abalone poachers broke in to Mark Woodgate’s Dive Inn shop early Sunday morning before leading police on a high-speed car chase which reached 170kmh along the Great Ocean Road.Mr Woodgate is surprised many Warrnambool small business have limited or no security.He said within one minute of the break-in, four police cars were dispatched and were at the Raglan Parade shop within two minutes.”You can’t take second chances with security,” Mr Woodgate told The Standard yesterday.”It literally saves you thousands of dollars. It helped us get a speedy response from police, which resulted in more evidence collected and hopefully it will lead to a conviction.”I’ve talked to a few other small-business owners and they have told me they have no security and that they have just been lucky, which I find really surprising.”Warrnambool Criminal Investigation Unit Detective Senior Constable Marty Neagle also urged regional store owners to step-up security.”CCTV (closed circuit television) is the way to go,” Detective Senior Constable Neagle said. “We have made leads into the identity of the people who hired the vehicle. “The identity of one of the hirers has lead us to believe that he has previously been involved in illegal abalone poaching.”Mr Woodgate said the bandits could only take about 20 wetsuits and several dive tanks, located within three metres from the front door.”The alarm went off straight away and as a result they didn’t have time to get the more expensive items further down the shop.”The thieves escaped in a hired 2007 white Toyota Corolla, with Queensland registration KNK-488.Police were forced to end the car chase on the Great Ocean Road near Allansford after dangerously high speeds were reached.People with information should contact Warrnambool Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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Power fade costs thousands

FOR the second time in three days traders in busy south-west Victorian tourist towns lost thousands of dollars because of a power blackout.Timboon and Port Campbell lost power for more than three hours yesterday when a tree fell onto main power lines at Timboon.It affected busy lunch-time trade, causing two hotels and at least two restaurants to turn customers away. Several service stations were unable to pump fuel and Eftpos and cash registers were out of action. It even hit fishermen at Port Campbell who were unable to lift their boats out of the sea when the town’s heavy-duty electric crane shut down. More than 1160 customers across the district were affected with 40 still without power yesterday evening.It followed a blackout in Port Fairy Saturday afternoon which hit the busy tourist restaurant and eatery trade.One of the hardest hit yesterday was the Port Campbell Hotel which had to close its doors just before the busy lunch trade.”We had to turn people away for most of the day,” said hotel spokesman Daniel Hanegraaf. “Normally we would have had done at least 40 meals plus the bar trade. There were bikies in town who wanted a beer and heaps of other tourists. The blackout would have cost us thousands of dollars.”Waves restaurant also lost thousands of dollars, said co-operator Adam Kordupel.”We were serving breakfast when the power went out then had to close and we lost our lunchtime trade.”Service station operator Phil Younis said he would also have a substantial loss because his fuel pumps shut down.
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