George Bass Marathon ready to roll

SURFBOATS and kayaks competing in the world’s toughest surfboat race will set off from Batemans Bay on Sunday.

Organisers are encouraging locals and visitors to get down to Batemans Bay Bridge from 8am to check out the spectacle and support their teams.

The George Bass Surfboat Marathon is an endurance race like no other.

It consists of seven legs over seven consecutive days, featuring a mix of ski paddlers and surfboat crews from around Australia, as well as the Far South Coast.

The course

Narooma is fielding a men’s veteran team, whose eight members have been training and competing in two boats to get maximum performance.

They took out both the Rooster Run on the Georges River and also the Club to Pub Race at Pambula Merimbula.

In the George Bass they will consolidate and compete in one boat under sweep Brendan Constable. The rowers are Unto Holopainen, Adam Morris, Johnny Davis, Jae Constable, Rod Patmore, Nigel Constable, Glen Wilton and Stuey Croser.

Narooma ski paddler Nick Ziviani has prepared well for the race – having competed in the Bass previously as a rower and a paddler, Nick spends most weekends touring the country, following the key races, competing at the highest standard.

Bermagui Surf Life Saving Club meanwhile has a mixed men and women’s team led by sweep Rob Shaw, while the Moruya crew consists of sweep Chris Nicholson, Bradley Coppin, Wayne Coppin, Mick Bellette, David Flemming, Tryg Casben, Rohan Rivett, Luka Bussa and Sean Green.

The Moruya team will be battling Bulli, two Wollongong city teams, a combined Moruya Vikings/Canberra crew and a Corrimal/Broulee team.

The race begins at Batemans Bay Bridge this Sunday, December 29, at 9am. Averaging 25km per day, the ski paddlers and surfboat rowers travel south, down the coast, finishing at Aslings Beach, Eden.

Narooma Surf Life Saving Club vice president Ben Bate said his club was very proud of its team of eight rowers and sweep, as well as ski paddler Nick Ziviani, all of whom have been training and performing well in events leading up to the big race.

“We’re sending out our encouragement, and I hope they have great event and do particularly well,” Ben said.

“I also want to recognise the support crew who travel along with the team, without whom there would be no event, as well as some very understanding wives.”

The club is asking for any assistance from anyone who can help out.

Anyone available to assist preparing breakfast, loading cars and trucks with food and equipment should contact club member Paul White on 0407 762 069.

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