Rd 2 of Ocean Thunder Boat Series
Round 2 of the Schick Hydro Ocean Thunder Pro Surfboat Series has been contested in glorious conditions at Sydneys Dee Why beach on Saturday 17 December. Huey blessed competitors and spectators with three metre rolling waves that were absolutely perfect for competition amongst the best surf rowing crews in Australia.
The large crowd lined the steps of natural Dee Why ampitheatre and were left in awe of the skill shown by the Men and Women from all over Australia drawn to the $60,000.00 in prizemoney and the chance to showcase their skills to a worldwide televsion audience. According to event spokesperson Julie Anderson "the conditions were the biggest and cleanest we have experienced in six years of racing Ocean Thunder at Dee Why, the whole beach was in awe today as Australias best surf boat crews were given the opportunity to highlight their enormous skills to not only the large crowd but to the televsion cameras as well".
Despite the huge conditions, damage to craft and competitors was very low highlighting the experience and skill of Australia's best surf rowing crews.
The epic mens final was contested by Australian Cable Tray Systems (Manly), St George Leagues Club (Bulli), Culligan Water (Bilgola), Dial Before You Dig (Mona Vale), Reilly & Sons Food Services/Mammoth (Bungan) and Southern Fasteners (North Cronulla) with the whole field having one eye on event one winners Don McManus' Culligan Water (Bilgola).
The St George Leagues Club Bulli crew of Paul Jones sweep, Dean Roberts, Heath Mercer, Ben Lowe, Dan Porra and Mitch Roberts (reserve) can certainly vouch for that after thinking they were safe in their warm up row only to be cleaned up by a monster set peeling around Dee Why point some 250meters offshore – ouch! But the boys recovered and performed very well all day, with a 5th place finish in the final.
After the 6 rounds of round robin racing, the crew were placed 5th (out of 24 crews) finishing the preliminaries with 4 x 1st and 2 x 4th placings. It was touch and go for a little while as you need to steer clear of the 4th place spots with only 4 boats in each heat. But after some very strong words of encouragement between each other, the crew finished the last 2 rounds of round robin racing with 2 victories pushing them into the 5th qualifying spot. The top 12 crews then faced elimination with our boys showing good surf skills and with the boat speed they already posses were able to make it all the way to the 6 boat final.
With the series now at the half way mark with 2 rounds remaining, the St George Leagues Club Bulli crew are 5th overall and with every chance to get onto the podium at series end, the crew will be going in with renewed confidence when Round 3 is contested on 14th January.
The top 6 standings after Round 2:
Mona Vale (20)
Bungan Beach (18)
St George Leagues Club Bulli (17)
North Cronulla (16)
These 6 crews contested the final last Saturday and are likely to be fighting it out in the final 2 rounds.