The Pambula Open men’s claimed line – and class – honours in Saturday’s Club to Pub surfboat race.
Offcials said it was one of the biggest events yet for the annual ocean rowing race with 14 surfboat crews and an eager contingent of ski paddlers taking part.
This year, the event also welcomed three teams from the Cronulla-based Wanda club as well as crews from Mollymook, Broulee and Narooma.
And growing from last year, the event also welcomed four stand up paddle (SUP) boarders for the morning.
Tathra had two men’s veteran teams in contention and challenged the field well.
Crews were met by idyllic conditions in the morning after an 8.30am briefing, surfboats launched from Pambula Beach with rolling one-to-two footers providing little resistance for the well-drilled surf crews.
Officials said it is normally the surf skis pulling in the result as they get out on the water first – with the Club to Pub running on a series of staggered starts.
However, there were some choppy conditions out wide and a gusty north-easterly blew in midway through the race and provided a nasty headwind.
The surfboats carved through the conditions though and finished on some quick times and more tightly grouped than normal.
The veteran men’s Wanda crew put in an impressive 58 minute run over the 10km stint, while Tathra’s fourth placed crew finished just four minutes back in one hour and two minutes
A further seven minutes back, the second Tathra crew crossed the Merimbula jetty in one hour and nine to finish sixth in the veteran men’s.
Organisers said the times bordered on Club to Pub records and were impressed with the effort from teams.
It was a day for the host club as Pambula life savers claimed the top spot in the open men’s as well as first and second in the veteran women’s, while pipping a Tathra crew for fifth place in the veteran men’s standings.
Many of the teams were using the event as a prelude to the upcoming George Bass Marathon, with Wanda crews saying they were excited to have their first crack at the world’s toughest surf marathon.