Sea Tarts providing companionship, activity for Warrnambool bodyboarders

CATCHING A WAVE: Warrnambool's Trish Taylor hits the beach every morning on her bodyboard as part of a growing group of like-minded people. Picture: Mark Witte
CATCHING A WAVE: Warrnambool's Trish Taylor hits the beach every morning on her bodyboard as part of a growing group of like-minded people. Picture: Mark Witte

Every morning a group of like-minded people hit the Warrnambool surf on their bodyboards.

An outlet which started for two friends now caters for almost 20, with more welcome.

Trish Taylor said the Sea Tarts' goal was to provide companionship and activity.

The group has grown organically since Ms Taylor and friend Chris van Kempen first tackled the waves last November and people of "all different ages now turn up every morning at 9am and go boarding".

"We have a young mum, who has a couple of little kids, I take my grandson who is five and the oldest in the group is 62," she said.

"We cater to anyone who wants to turn up. It's companionship, activity. A lot of us were old netballers so we all have the old netball knees that aren't so good anymore. Being in the water has helped us keep active."

Ms Taylor, 57, said the Sea Tarts battled the elements and spent up to two hours in the water each day.

"Us girls have gone out and bought winter outfits - hats, gloves, boots, you name it. We've kept the surf places in business," she joked.

The group's importance has grown during COVID, providing a social outlet.

"I usually do a bit of baking and take some cakes, one girl brings chocolate," Ms Taylor said. She said they adhered to restrictions.

"Because you can't board next to a person there's always that 1.5 metres next to a person anyway but we make sure that there's always two people," she said. "Our rule is you don't go by yourself, it's not safe. We just spread out across the beach."

 Bodyboarders Kerry Lee, Karen Henderson, Donna Lumb, Trish Taylor, Jo Wilkinson and Chris Van Kempen hit the Warrnambool surf each morning. Picture: Mark Witte

Bodyboarders Kerry Lee, Karen Henderson, Donna Lumb, Trish Taylor, Jo Wilkinson and Chris Van Kempen hit the Warrnambool surf each morning. Picture: Mark Witte

This story Waves help 'old netball knees' first appeared on The Standard.