In what has been a trying week, rowers have faced severe surf conditions, huge winds and over came hypothermia, injuries and rescues to successfully complete the toughest ever George Bass Marathon.
Batemans Bay faced fierce competition from Bulli, the Canberra Vikings and Tasmanian based Burnie who were all in contention for first place today.
Bulli held the lead for much of the race only to be pipped at the post by Batemans Bay. Bulli, the Canberra Vikings and Burnie were left to battle for the remaining two place positions.
In the women’s division of the 180 kilometre marathon, Woolamai finished undefeated, fending off daily competition from the Canberra Vikings and Bermagui.
Batemans Bay sweep Neil Innes said his crew found conditions very tough over the week.
“We were pushed to the limit every day,” he said.
“Bulli and the Vikings were right on our heels making us race as hard as we could.”
“The boys are all very pumped and excited with this win – it really does pay off for all the hard work we have been putting in over the last six months.”
Neil said the crew had been training six nights a week for two to three hours a day in preparation for the bass.
“It was something we needed to do to stay in front of our competitors and it is just a great result for Batemans Bay,” he said.
Woolamai sweep Stephen Blewett said this year was the first time a lot of his competitors had been involved in surf boat rowing.
“Some have had experience in the past but most of the girls were new to it, so for them to take out every leg is a testament to the preparation they put into this event,” he said.
“We certainly found things very difficult in the various conditions but are just so glad our hard work and dedication has paid off.”
Race organiser Bert Hunt said this year’s marathon would have to have been to most toughest he had ever seen.
“The crews were really tested over the week and have all managed to get through in one piece,” he said.
“This race has been wonderful to showcase the true athletic ability the modern day lifesaver.
“Crews have been rowing anywhere from two to six hours over the last seven days in very trying conditions and I would say conditions have been the hardest we have ever had to deal with.”
Mr Hunt made special mention of the North Steyne Women’s crew and Port Kembla Veterans crew who battled tough conditions all week.
“Both those crews were hammered all week in the big surf and they have done an exceptional job finishing the race in the wild weather.”
“The effort put in this week by every single rower, ski paddler, water safety officers, our medical team and the organisers has been second to none with the 2008 marathon being very successful.”
“We had a couple of days where things could have been very interesting with crews ending up in the water at Coila, Narooma, Tathra and Pambula and it is a credit to everyone involved in this year’s event that no serious incidents occurred.”
“Conditions at times were definitely against us and we have really learnt from this year’s event that in fact we are capable to deal with every circumstance thrown at us and that our medical team and safety elements have been very successful.”
Results day seven Merimbula to Eden
First Batemans Bay One hour 39 minutes 15 seconds
Second Bulli One hour 39 minutes 42 seconds
Third Burnie One hour 41 minutes 05 seconds
Fourth Canberra Vikings 1 hour 43 minutes 13 seconds
Fifth Broulee Juniors 1 hour 43 minutes 11 seconds
First North Stenye 1 hour 52 minutes 11 seconds
Second Narooma 1 hour 52 minutes 49 seconds
Third Tathra 1 hour 53 minutes 37 seconds
Fourth Buli Vets 1 hour 53 minutes 55 seconds
Fifth Pambula 1 hour 57 minutes 20 seconds
Sixth Port Kembla 2 hours 41 seconds
FINAL OVERALL RESULTS:
|Place|| Mens ||Womens|| Vets |
|1st||Batemans Bay||Woolamai|| North Steyne |
|2nd||Bulli|| Canberra Vikings || Bulli Vets |
|4th|| Canberra Vikings || Moruya Ladies ||Tathra|
|5th|| Broulee Juniors ||Broulee||Pambula|
|6th|| North Steyne ||Port Kembla|