Bulli surf crews aim to be world's best


Heath Mercer, Dan Porra, Paul Jones, Dean Roberts and Ben Lowe.

Heath Mercer, Dan Porra, Paul Jones, Dean Roberts and Ben Lowe.

Reigning NSW surf boat champions Bulli are hoping to become the world's best this weekend in South Australia.

Five Bulli crews are contesting this week's Rescue 2012 (world surf lifesaving titles) at Glenelg and Christies, including the open men's crew which won the 2011 state championship.

The club will also be represented in the open women's division, under 19 men and by two crews in the veteran men.

Paul Jones will sweep the open men and 160 years veteran crews, while Shane Geloven will sweep the open women, under 19 men and 220 years veterans.

"We finished fourth with a different [open men's] crew in 2006 so we really want to come home with a medal this time, but we're going there to win the thing," Jones said.

Bulli's state champion crew consists of Dean Roberts, Heath Mercer, Ben Lowe and Daniel Porra.

"The guys are rowing well," Jones said.

"It's supposed to be small. Any conditions suit us.

"The worlds have been our goal, certainly for this half of the season. It's a long year and the season doesn't finish till April. There's a long way to go, but up to Christmas, the world titles are what we're aiming for."

Bulli's open women's crew will be punching above its weight.

"The open women's crew should be in the under 23 competition, but one of the girls is too old by one day," Jones said.

"International lifesaving rules are different to Surf Life Saving Australia rules. If it was run by Surf Life Saving Australia they'd be rowing in the under 23 women, but the cut-off point is different."

Jones expects the club's under 19 crew of Albert Smeaton, Kyle Mercer, Iszac Lunney and Toby Allnutt to acquit themselves well.

"These guys are all 17 and in their second year of rowing," he said.

"The boys haven't raced this season yet, but they had some form last year, and when you have a couple of six-foot, 90-kilo kids like Albert and Kyle they will be a big chance."

Masters competition was held yesterday, while remaining divisions will be battled out this weekend.


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