Visiting teams in the Club to Pub surfboat race on Sunday must have been very thirsty.
With teams crossing the line at the pub jetty on Merimbula Lake and then retiring to the Lakeview Hotel for a debriefing, it was the visitors who claimed first, second and third in the surfboat category.
Overall winner and first in the veterans division was Narooma.
Broulee claimed the win in the open division and was second overall, while Lakes Entrance took out third overall and second in the veterans division.
The race course was a gruelling 10km from the beach out towards Haycock Point, across the bay and in through the Merimbula Bar to the jetty at the Lakeview Hotel.
With little help from winds or tide, competitors relied on skill, strength and endurance to get them over the finish line.
In the Women’s’ surfboat race, a punishing neck and neck tussle over the course duration between Tathra and Pambula Beach saw the Tathra women narrowly defeat Pambula Beach in less than a boat length.
In the surf ski division, the men’s winner was Scott Elliot of Broulee surf club.
In a family victory, Scott’s partner Simone dominated the women’s ski event, taking the top spot from Kym O’Halloran of Pambula Beach.
Supporting the event on-water were the water safety craft including several IRBs, Merimbula Marine Rescue and the Eden Water Police.
The additional craft added to the flotilla of racing vessels that made quite a spectacle as the sun shone on the sparkling sapphire waters of Merimbula Bay.
The hot pink racing vests provided by the Discovery Holiday Park and worn by all competitors added to the visually stunning display.
The Lakeview Hotel provided the perfect venue at the finish line for competitors to debrief.
Later at the Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club, official presentations took place.
Winner of the major prize was Darren Browning of Broulee, who will be sure to be back to enjoy his prize - a week’s accommodation in a luxury spa villa the Holiday Park at Pambula Beach.
Race organiser, Chris Briggs of Pambula Beach Surf Life Saving Club was thrilled with the day’s turnout.
“In only its second year, the race has more than doubled in size, with over 70 entries,” Briggs said.
“With such good quality competition, a stunning bay to race across and the support of hardworking volunteers and terrific sponsorship, the scene is set for an even bigger event for next year.”