THIS year’s George Bass Surfboat Marathon had everything.
The seven-day featured shark sightings, big swells, strong winds and a couple of competitors needing medical attention.
The marathon wrapped up with more drama on Saturday morning.
The final leg of the event was reversed due to adverse conditions expected, meaning competitors rowed from Eden to Pambula.
While the sun was beaming and a light southerly breeze aided rowers, there were other unexpected obstacles on day seven.
The Bulli open men’s crew reported a whale just 10 metres from the boat, sharks were again spotted and a competitor was hit in the head by a flying fish.
Meanwhile, the Bulli crew rowed naked for about 20 minutes during the final leg, a secret they even kept from their sweep.
The crew said it had been planning the prank for a while.
In the end, the results were mainly as expected on Saturday as the dominant crews in each class showed their class.
The Bulli open men’s crew won its leg, Narooma took out the men’s veterans, Torquay won the open women’s and Avalon Beach was victorious in the women’s veterans race.
Tathra’s women’s veteran team finished third, while the Tathra men’s veterans crew crossed the line in fourth.
In the overall standings, both of Tathra’s crews also finished in those positions.
The 2013/14 marathon was supported by the Royal Australian Navy.
Navy representative Commander Rod Harrod said competitors had overcome “unusual” sea conditions.
Commander Harrod said 2013/14 was the first time that more than one leg change had been made, including reversing the course on Saturday.
“Leg changes are rare,” he said.
However, Commander Harrod said the marathon had been a success.
“It’s been another great year – the [organising] committee does a tough job on a shoestring,” he said.
“There are a number of sporting events on the South Coast, but no other puts as much focus on the South Coast.”
On Friday, hundreds of people gathered at Tathra Beach to witness the start of day six action.
In overcast conditions, the surf boat crews paddled out to the starting line, which was adjacent to the Tathra Wharf.