The Navy George Bass Surf Boat Marathon has kicked off with a flying start in Batemans Bay on Sunday morning.
More than 1500 people crowded jetties, the bridge and shoreline to watch the 15th George Bass Marathon kick off.
This year’s marathon is set to make history, with men and women crews competing in every single leg of the 180km event.
Female competitors from North Steyne, Woolamai, Moruya, Canberra, Broulee, Woolamai/Bilgola, Bermagui took to the water in the first leg from Batemans Bay to Moruya.
There was some very close racing in the open men’s division with crews from Tathra, Narooma, Pambula, Canberra, Bulli, Burnie (Tasmania), Port Kembla, Broulee, North Steyne, Batemans Bay and Moruya battling it out.
Race director Bert Hunt said the first day was full of highlights and showcased some excellent racing.
"It was very competitive in the open men’s, Burni from Tasmania held the lead to the end of the river mouth before being overtaken by the Canberra Vikings," he said.
"The Vikings held on to the lead for much of the race until one of their oars broke."
"They were then overtaken by Batemans Bay who battled out with North Steyne to take out the first leg."
"It was very competitive and great to see."
The Royal Australian Navy came on board as major sponsors of this year’s race, and feel there is a very close connection to the marathon and the navy according to Rod Harrod, Director Personnel.
"This is a very positive relationship between both organisations," he said.
"What the George Bass stands for is very special to us, George Bass and his crew of naval officers sailed the coast of Australia in a whaling boat in 1798 and we are quite proud to be involved in an event in his memory," he said.
"George Bass would have sailed the coastline at around the same time of year as the marathon, both surf life saving and the navy have fit young men and women and have a big emphasis on team work so it is quite fitting that we get involved."
Mr Harrod said he was very pleased with the launch.
"It was just outstanding and fantastic to se so many people involved and come along to witness the spectacle."
"These sort of things don’t just happen and without the solid teamwork involved it wouldn’t have gotten off the ground."
He said he looking forward to seeing how the week’s racing unfolds.
Racing continues tomorrow with the Moruya to Tuross sprint leg of 19 kilometres. First race leaves at 9am from the Moruya Surf Club.
To watch the marathon live visit www.defencejobs.gov.au/navy/georgebass.
Navy George Bass Surf Boat Marathon 2007-08
Day One - Batemans Bay to Moruya - 27 kilometres
All winning times on day one are new race records.
|First||Batemans Bay||2 hours 20 minutes 44 seconds|
|Second||Burnie||2 hours 22 minutes 21 seconds|
|Third||Bulli||2 hours 22 minutes 55 seconds|
|Fourth||Canberra Vikings||2hours 23 minutes 20 seconds|
|Fifth||Broulee||2 hours 23 minutes 36 seconds|
|First||North Steyne||2 hours 29 minutes 32 seconds|
|Second||Bulli||2 hours 32 minutes 45 seconds|
|Third||Tathra||2 hours 37 minutes 04 seconds|
|Fourth||Narooma||2 hours 38 minutes 38 seconds|
|Fifth||Pambula||2 hours 43 minutes 13 seconds|
|Sixth||Port Kembla||2 hours 57 minutes 52 seconds|
|First||Woolamai||2 hours 39 minutes 19 seconds|
|Second||Moruya Vikings||2 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds|
|Third||Bermagui||2 hours 47 minutes 12 seconds|
|Fourth||Moruya||2 hours 51 minutes 12 seconds|
|Fifth||Broulee||2 hours 53 minutes 39 seconds|
|Sixth||North Steyne||3 hours 14 minutes 39 seconds|