Sharks head coach Shane Flanagan, his assistants Jim Dymock and John Morris, Physical Performance Manager Andrew Gray, in addition to a cast of football staff members, are hard at work in preparation for the Moloka'i Hoe Canoe race, set to take place in Hawaii on October 7.
What started as a team building activity, with staff getting together, often before sun-up, to paddle the outrigging canoes around the waters of the Port Hacking, has built into an assault on one of the world's most arduous outrigging races.
The Moloka'i Hoe race is a 68-kilometre endurance test, with competitors rowing the channel crossing from Moloka'I to O'ahu and as Flanagan explained, it's been a worthwhile exercise in team building regardless of the result in October.
"It's good for the staff to get out in the morning," he said. "It just shows how much teamwork is needed in something like this. We can take that back to our footy. If we don't work together, it isn't going to work.
"It can be really tough for whoever goes and does it. It's not going to be easy but it's a really good challenge for them at the end of the year."
Gray, who has been to the Moloka'i event previously, agreed it was probably best not to discuss too many specifics of the race with those who might potentially be amongst the final nine to compete come October.
"The boys don't know much about it just yet, but it's probably best kept that way. It can be pretty nasty," Gray said.
To help make their participation in the race happen, with boat hire and the associated costs, the group is looking for sponsors, with branding and signage opportunities available on either the outrigging boats or paddlers outfits.
After covering some of the costs, the group will donate any additional funds to the Surfrider Foundation
The find out more go to the Cronulla branch Instagram:@surfrider_foundation_cronulla, to the Surfrider Foundation Australia website: http://www.surfrider.org.au <http://www.surfrider.org.au/> or to the Cronulla branch Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/surfriderfoundationcronulla/
For sponsorship or donation enquiries, email [email protected].
To learn more about the Moloka'i Hoe Canoe race, see the website at http://www.molokaihoe.com/index.asp
Sharks TV was up and about in the early hours one morning to catch the Sharks Moloka'i crew go through their paces. See our video presentation, now playing.