THE aptly-named Death Alley provided Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club with too many hurdles at the under-23 NSW surfboat titles at Blacksmiths Beach.
While the club's male and female crews were far from disgraced at the weekend, sweep Steve Monaghan admitted they made an impression although they had no luck.
"The girls were a little unlucky and missed the finals by one point, but we were in the worst alley and got hit by every wave that came through whereas the others didn't," he said.
"A shorebreak didn't do us a favour at the start and made things really difficult for the bowman; it was already overhead when they were getting in the boat at the start, but they handled it well.
"I'm really proud of their efforts - they're training and racing well, but it boils down to experience now. You can get away with little things around here but you can't give them an inch at nationals."
The men's crew also competed with most of the other teams throughout their five races.
"People were looking at them and complimenting them all day ... they put the wind up the good crews but didn't make the final in the semis because we struck death alley," Monaghan said.
"We matched them in the rowing but had no luck getting waves on the way home. I'm content with their rowing but it's just the finishing off we need to work on.
"It's a little bit of inexperience so they need a bit more hunger and need to look for that extra five to 10 percent they don't think they've got.
"That's the difference."
The club will head to the season-ending Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Sunshine Coast from April 19-24.
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