The future of the seven-day surfboard marathon on New South Wales’ southernmost coast has long been in the making.
Considered the toughest sea race of its kind in the world, the George Baths attracts hundreds of competitors, support crews and spectators to the biennial event.
This year’s event has largely failed due to a lack of patrons and volunteer organizers.
But race director Andrew Edmonds said the success of this year’s event assured the marathon’s future.
“It’s such an important event not only from the interstate, but from a tourism perspective that visits the crew from a life-saving perspective,” Edmonds said.
“The surf boat crew are all lifesavers on our beach.
“Once 10 or 20 rowers compete, additional personnel can patrol the beach to keep people safe.
“It’s such a big part of our region, and we’re so happy that the iconic event, now in its 40th year, can continue.”
End the tough race
Seven days of grueling rowing is over.
From Victoria to North Queensland, 21 surf boat crews and 8 surf ski paddlers took part in a difficult event marred by bad weather and big seas.
After starting 190 kilometers north at Batemans Bay, it ended at Twofold Bay in Eden on Saturday.
North Bondi paddler Stew Oregan crossed the line first, but says he must share the glory with the locals who divulged the secret.
”Big headwinds, squall storms, big swells, flat days on the river. It’s all here and more,” he said.
“It’s been a fulfilling week.
“Everyone is really helping each other.
“There are some bastards here.
“They helped me with some of the lines. They were really supportive. I really appreciate what they did for me this week.”
In the surf boat division, Buri successfully defended her title at the Men’s Open, Narooma defended her title at the Men’s Masters, and Pambula won the Women’s Masters.
Moruya-Long Reef was 1st in the Open Women’s.