Torrential rain and large surf forced crews and paddlers to the Moruya River for the second leg of the 2016 George Bass Surfboat Marathon on January 4.
Competitors were to start at Moruya Beach for the 19-kilometre leg to Coila Beach, Tuross Head, but dangerous conditions forced marathon organisers to use an alternative course.
Marathon director Andrew Edmunds said he regretted changing the course, but the safety of the competitors and support craft was paramount.
"Conditions just didn't allow for a race at sea today,” he said.
“Instead we are using a contingency plan for a 15-kilometre row on the river which will test the rowers."
After a sunshine-drenched start to the gruelling seven-day 190-kilometre marathon in Batemans Bay, a grey sky, cooler temperature and driving rain greeted entrants, support crews and race officials for the start of the second leg at Preddy’s Wharf.
Competitors rowed three laps from Preddy’s Wharf to Moruya Town Wharf and completed sharp turns around markers, before they finished in Moruya.
Bulli and Long Reef/Moruya continued to dominate proceedings today with both taking out open men’s and women’s races respectively for the second day in a row.
Pambula continued its unbeaten run in the masters’ ladies’ division, while marathon defending champions Narooma bounced back from yesterday taking out the masters’ men’s leg.
The day wasn’t without its challenges however.
A female rower from Wollongong City was taken to hospital, while another Anglesea rower also received first aid treatment for a minor injury.
Edmunds said the crews competed well in the difficult conditions.
“The crews had a fairly challenging night at camp with torrential rain at the high school,” he said.
“Fortunately we were able to get today’s leg completed before more rain and the high tide which now has flood warnings out for the Moruya River.”
The presentation and third leg race briefing was moved to the Moruya Golf Club and begins at 4pm.
Organisers of the George Bass Marathon praised the maintenance staff of Moruya High School for their assistance to the competitors and supporters camping at the grounds, along with the Moruya Basketball club who provided some shelter from the deluge and Eurobodalla Shire Council, who provided a tractor to help boats and vehicles from the campsite.
“The Moruya laundromat also stayed open to help rowers get some of their clothing dry. This community support is fantastic and we are all very appreciative of it,” Edmunds said.
“After a long and difficult day and night without your assistance this year's event would have been even more difficult on day two.”
George Bass Marathon day two results – Moruya River 15 kilometres
First Bulli 1 hour and 23 minutes.
Second Coogee 1 hour, 23 minutes and 6 seconds.
Third Moruya 1 hour, 25 minutes and 43 seconds.
Fourth Long Reef 1 hour, 26 minutes and 52 seconds.
Fifth Pambula 1 hour, 36 minutes and 26 seconds.
First Narooma 1 hour, 28 minutes and 30 seconds.
Second North Cronulla 1 hour 29 minutes and 19 seconds.
Third Tallebudgera 1 hour, 35 minutes and 39 seconds.
Fourth Yeppoon 1 hour 31 minutes and 11 seconds.
Fifth Tathra 1 hour 31 minutes and 14 seconds.
Pambula/Tathra 2 hours, 4 seconds.
First Long Reef/Moruya 1 hour, 32 minutes and 16 seconds.
Second Broulee Capitals 1 hour 35 minutes and 31 seconds.
Third Metropolitan Caloundra 1 hour 37 minutes and 53 seconds.
Fourth Wollongong City 1 hour 38 minutes and 37 seconds.
First Pambula 1 hour, 42 minutes and 43 seconds.
Second Broulee Bats 1 hour, 46 minutes and 53 seconds.
Third Warriewood 1 hour, 47 minutes and 16 seconds.
Fourth Anglesea 1 hour, 48 minutes and 30 seconds.
First Stew O’Regan 1 hour, 15 minutes and 08 seconds.
Second Will Hardman 1 hour, 16 minutes and 19 seconds.
Third Nick Ziviani, 1 hour 18 minutes and 36 seconds.
Fourth Craig Vipond 1 hour 18 minutes and 49 seconds.
Fifth Ed Gwynne 1 hour 24 minutes and 56 seconds.
Sixth Chris Ryan 1 hour, 26 minutes and 56 seconds.