WAUCHOPE-Bonny Hills Surf Club knew it would be tough to replicate their success in last year’s North Coast Surfboat series.
But after rounds one and two at Evans Head on October 15, they’ve made a positive start.
The club took three men’s teams – an open, reserve grade and masters crew with varying results.
The Bull Sharks finished fourth in the final of the open division while the Hammerheads finished in first place in the reserve men’s category.
The Masters 160s men’s crew finished sixth while the club had success with their mixed crew who finished in first place with the help of two Maroochydore Amazon women.
Surf boat captain Anthony Kee said conditions at Evans Head were perfect for racing.
But they did have to overcome the danger of a three and a half metre Great White shark which loitered near the river mouth.
It forced the shark alarm to be sounded on three separate occasions, the beach was closed and crews returned to shore.
“There was a resident shark there which forced us to go back to the beach a couple of times,” Kee said.
“It was a little bit annoying, but everyone appreciates the safety precautions that have to be taken.”
Kee said it was the performance of the men’s open crew which was arguably the most impressive over the weekend.
“We were really happy to see our under-23 boys step up to open’s this year and finish fourth at the end of the round,” he said.
“They’re just off the pace, but they won a couple of heats.”
Round three will be held at South West Rocks on October 29 where Port Macquarie Surf Club hope to be back on the water.
President Rick Rolff acknowledged it would be difficult to win the series after their round one and two absence.
“We’ll take two crews to South West Rocks and we know it will be hard to win it this year, but funny things happen in surf boats,” he said.
“In saying that, we missed round one and two a few years ago and came a very close second, so we’ll wait and see what happens.”