Emerging rowers of Batemans Bay surf club had their first taste of racing at the weekend.
The Batemans Bay Baguettes are a newly formed reserve women's crew who started the surf boat season with a bang at the Warilla Bowls Surf Boat Series opener at Bulli on Saturday, October 24.
Experienced stroke rower Rebecca Petersen rounded up newbies Katie Hearne, Lizzy Ladmore and Trista Murphy to form a crew eager to take on their coast competition. After the first round, the crew now sit at second place in the series.
There were about 35 crews from clubs between North Cronulla and Tathra entered on the day.
Bay sweep Neil Innes said it was a good feeling to have four crews compete after months of training and uncertainty over race events.
"Everyone had itchy feet from the way COVID has been, we were wondering if there would even be a season," he said.
"Everyone way very excited to have a hit out.
"I have been impressed with all crews, how they're training up to do the work that's needed to be competitive. I am very proud of the older rowers leading the way and helping out the younger - it has built good camaraderie."
Innes had a fast-paced day sweeping open and reserve men's crews as well as the reserve and open women's crews.
"It was really good, it was exciting and a buzz - all four crews performed really well," he said.
It was the open men's first time back in the boat this season, proving their ability to take the win.
"They had no training sessions and won overall," Innes said.
"There were spots of brilliance."
The reserve men were unlucky as another boat hit the crew during their first race, however they dominated all remaining races.
The reserve women won overall, with three firsts and a second. Innes was pleased with the club's results considering the conditions.
"It was a little bumpy out there from the nor-easter blowing the night before; once you got out the back it was like a washing machine," he said.
"As the day went on the crews got better, after they couldn't find their straps at the start, they smoothed it out later on."
Due to COVID-19, Innes said the season's competition calendar "was up in the air" but Batemans Bay was penciled in to host the second round of the Warilla Bowls Series mid-November.