The first day of the George Bass Surf Boat Marathon took a twist at the Moruya finish line, one that points to the challenges of the great race.
The 66-year-old sweep of the Pambula Men’s Masters crew had a heart attack and was revived on the beach.
“Volunteers on patrol with Mourya Surf Club responded quickly and a doctor rowing for Mollymook all stepped up to look after the man before paramedics arrived,” Andrew Edmunds, Race Director says.
“He has since been flown to hospital and all those involved have been involved in a debriefing session, our people are the most important thing about the Bass.”
The medical emergency came on the back of what had been a successful day on the water, crews tackling the 31 kilometres of coastline between the Batemans Bay Bridge and Mourya Beach at South Head.
“NSW Maritime and Water Police gave competitors a gold star for safety,” Andrew says.
“Yes this is a race and everyone is keen to win, but safety comes first.”
Tony Ireland is one of thirteen entries in the Surf Ski Marathon, Tony is paddling as one of two duel surf ski entries and was among the first to hit the Moruya sand with his mate Brendan Cowled.
“It was quite challenging, especially the last bit from Broulee to home, it felt like we were pushing against the current the whole way,” Tony says.
The southerly winds at the start weren’t a problem for Tony and Brendan, who stuck close to the coast and enjoyed some helpful currents in close.
Single ski results:
First – John Pattinson
Second – Paul Buttle
Third – Nick Kirby
Fourth – Simon Steinhouse
Fifth – Warrick Ward
Sixth – Stephen Bunney
Seventh – Gavin Granger
Eighth – Craig Vipond
Ninth – Dave Schofield
Tenth – Nathan Vipond
Eleventh – Jacqui Keough *Only women, go Jacqui!
Double ski results:
First – Nick Ziviani and Joe Hasley
Second – Brendan Cowled and Tony Island.
There were big smiles from family, friends, and supporters when the surfboats started to pull in two to three hours after they started on the Clyde River.
Michelle from the Broulee Bluebottles is competing in her seventh Bass and was beaming despite being greeted by her crew’s namesake at the finish line.
“The feeling after is great and why I keep doing it, about 20 minutes into this morning I didn’t think so, but now it’s great, I love it,” Michelle says.
Masters Women results:
First – Pambula
Second – Broulee Bluebottles
Third – Darwin NT
Fourth – Torquay Vic
Fifth – Avalon Beach
Open Women results:
First – North Cronulla
Second – Broulee
Third – Broulee/Canberra Capitals
Fourth – Moruya
Open Men results:
First – Bulli
Second – Long Reef
Third – Coogee
Fourth – Mollymook
Fifth – Pambula
Masters Men results:
First – North Cronulla
Second – Wanda
Third – Tathra
Fourth – Narooma
Fifth – Wollongong City
Sixth – Broulee Capitals
Seventh – Pambula
Eighth – Bulli
Ninth – Grange SA
Tenth – Noosa Qld
Eleventh – Warriewood
Headed into New Year’s Eve all crews seemed keen for an early night at their Moruya High School campground, day two starts back at Moruya Beach at 9am for the 18km run to Coila Beach at Tuross. The first competitors are expected to arrive between one and two hours later.
You can stay in touch with the field via the George Bass Live Tracker.
For more photos from day one head to the George Bass Facebook page.
Video above from Livefire – IT, Digital Media, Social Media Marketing
*Ian Campbell is traveling as a guest of the George Bass Surf Boat Marathon.