DAY six of the George Bass Marathon wrapped up at Pambula Beach with surf boat crews battling heavy seas and rain.
Naval commander Rod Harrod said crews set out from Tathra at 8.45am on Friday morning with the ski paddlers leading the field.
"The start this morning was around 8.45 to 9am depending on the various waves," Harrod said.
"The first group away were the surf ski paddlers.
"In that field of what started as 17 paddlers, due to injury, one has unfortunately had to drop out which reduced the field to 16 paddlers," he said.
Harrod said Michael Locke had been leading the surf skis in dominant fashion just narrowly edging out a competitive group of four paddlers.
"Locke is the number one performer and leading the event overall," he said.
Harrod's prediction proved fruitful as Locke landed at Pambula Beach in first, just 150 metres in front of second-place getter Paul Buttelle.
Harrod said the crews were nearing the end of the punishing race and was impressed by the conviction shown from all the competitors even as they battled exhaustion.
"They really pushed themselves yesterday and when they landed on the beach they slumped over their oars, that's how exhausted they were," he said.
Harrod also said he was delighted to watch the Tathra crews who have been taking part in the marathon since its inception.
"Tathra has been on board in one iteration or another involved in every single George Bass for more than 40 years, so that's a fantastic effort," he said.
Meanwhile surf boat crews ventured in close to shore while crossing Merimbula's Short Point, which race callers deemed a mistake.
Bulli was the first team to "wake up" and head back to deeper waters while travelling down the home stretch of the leg.
"If other teams wake up and heads back out to sea they might cut off a whole lot of distance and could really make this an interesting race," the race caller said.
"Today more than any other day in the marathon is shaping up to be a very interesting day."
The move from Bulli appears to have worked as they were the first surf boat crew across the line on day six and are currently leading the open division overall ahead of defending champions Moruya.
Meanwhile, Narooma continued it's dominance of the veteran men's with another first place finish to the penultimate leg of the marathon.
Tathra came fourth in the veteran men's division and it's women's team crossed the line in third place.
The finish sees Tathra hold on to fourth overall while the women are tied with the Angelsea crew in third.
OVERALL PLACINGS and Day 6 results
Men’s Vets – 1.Narooma 2. Northcliffe 3. Bulli 4. Tathra 5. Queenscliff 6. Pambula 7. Bermagui Mixed Open Women’s – 1.Torquay 2. Moruya Met Caloundra 3. Broulee Capitals
Women’s Vets – 1.Avalon Beach 2. Broulee Bats 3. Tathra 4. Anglesea
Overall placings as of Day 6
Ski paddlers – 1.Locke 2.Little 3. Buttel 4.Altman 5. Morton 6. Mead 7. Ziviani 8. Vipond 9. Granger 10.Poland 11. Lenehan 12. Kelly 13. King 14. Porter 15. Lionnet 16. Solly 17. Ryan
Open Men’s boats – 1.Bulli 2. Moruya 3. Moruya DBYD 4. Rod’s Wollongong City 5.Ken’s Wollongong City
Men’s Vets – 1.Narooma 2. Northcliffe 3. Bulli 4. Tathra 5. Queenscliff 6. Bermagui Mixed 7. Pambula
Open Women’s – 1.Torquay 2. Moruya Met Caloundra 3. Broulee Capitals
Women’s Vets – 1.Avalon Beach 2. Broulee Bats 3. Tathra tied with Anglesea