Bulli surf boat crew recaptures NSW title

Bulli's open men’s surf boat crew has done it again, capturing a second state title in three years.

Smooth, lake-like conditions forced crews in every division to call on all their strength and stamina.

Bulli fought a tense battle at the front of the pack with Mona Vale from start to finish before claiming a narrow victory.

‘‘The surf was dead flat, probably the flattest conditions I’ve ever raced in,’’ long-time Bulli sweep Paul Jones said. 

‘‘There was virtually no wind and the race was really tight all the way.

‘‘Mona Vale are renowned strong finishers, but they came at us and we held them off. We just out-sprinted them in the last 20 metres. 

‘‘The boys really dug deep and just found something else in the belly.

‘‘It was one of the best races I’ve ever been involved with because it was a flat-out rowing race. Our boat speed is terrific at the moment.’’

The gold medal-winning crew was Dean Roberts, Heath Mercer, Ben Lowe, Dean Porra and Jones.

Four of the six crews contesting the final hailed from Illawarra and South Coast clubs. Batemans Bay claimed the bronze medal, Corrimal finished fourth and Austinmer were fifth.

Austinmer’s under-23 women’s crew came home with the gold medal, while Wollongong City finished second. Broulee won the under-19 men’s final and Helensburgh-Stanwell Park’s open women’s crew reached the final.

Bulli also won a silver medal in the combined relay (under 19 men, open men, open women).

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