State and regional pride will be on the line when Bulli contests the Australian Surf Rowers League Open at Elouera beach this weekend.
After taking out the NSW ASRL meet, the Bulli crew will feature in a NSW team competing in the Interstate Challenge on Friday before turning their attention towards the club competition on Saturday and Sunday.
Bulli sweep Shane Geloven said the team will be out for revenge in the state competition after a broken oar cost NSW state bragging rights last year.
“It’s an excellent achievement from my guys to represent NSW,” Geloven said. “We got there last year as well, it’s the second year in a row and hopefully we can dominate the Queenslanders and the other states.
“We won our race against all the states last year and we were leading the relay in the last leg and I snapped my sweep oar, which cost us. It wasn’t my best result and we hope to improve on that.”
Bulli Surf Lifesaving Club president Keith Caldwell is looking forward to a competitive weekend of racing from the club’s crews.
“Our crews always travel pretty well,” Caldwell said. “We have two opens crews, two men’s under 23 crews and a women’s reserves crew competing on the weekend hunting for medals.
“It will be tough, all the best boat crews from around Australia will be there, it’s like an early season Australian boat titles.”
The team finished in fourth place last year and Geloven said the crew consisting of Heath Mercer, Dean Roberts, Fraser Worthington, Ben Lowe and Geloven is determined to improve on that result.
“We’ll defintiely be at the pointy end of the competition,” Geloven said. “We’ve had a good start to the season, a few up and down results, but this is a good carnival to gauge where you’re at.
“We were in the final last year and weren’t able to take it out. The aim is to finish first this time around, I’ll get the boys fired up and we’ll see what happens.”
Geloven identified Avoca and Collaroy as the teams to beat. Avoca are the defending champions.
Friday’s state competition forces the Bulli crew to complete an extra day of racing. However, Geloven sees Friday’s racing as an opportunity to assess the conditions before many of their rivals.
This is especially important given tough weather conditions and large swells are currently forecast.
“You get better as the weekend goes on, as you get used to the conditions. You come to understand the length of the race, you can gauge yourself on how you’re traveling. You know what you’re in for later in the weekend, the first race is always the hardest.”