Surf Boat Racing Comes to Watergate Bay This Friday 13th July

Written by: Press Release

Submitted: 11 July 2007

Watergate Bay will look more like Sydney's Bondi Beach on Friday evening as crews from all over the country compete in a series of surf rowing boat races.

UKSRL surf boat racing

UKSRL surf boat racing

Surf Boat Racing Comes to Watergate Bay

Inspired by the Australian tradition of racing surf rescue boats, over 15 crews from Cornwall, Devon, London and South Wales will take on the waves of Watergate Bay in the third round of the UK Surf Rowers League (UKSRL) summer series of races. "It's pretty tough racing, and it can be really exciting," said Steve Instance, Lifeguard Manager for the RNLI who are providing safety cover for the race. "The crews row through the surf in 27ft wooden lifeboats that weigh around half a ton, competing against each other and the conditions.

"The racing is great to watch; the boats don't go out of sight so you can always tell who is in the lead, and it can be really spectacular. At last week's event at Perranporth we had a fairly big swell and there were boats doing back flips; there was even a 27 foot boat going end over end. In terms of entertainment we definitely want some waves and looking at the weather forecast for Friday we should be lucky."

Oceanfest women

Oceanfest women

Get Set for a Spectacular Race

Up to six boats will race in each heat, with crews made up of four rowers and a "sweep" standing at the stern. The crews must launch their boats from the beach, row out 400 metres through the surf and around a buoy before rowing back to the beach, hoping to surf a wave on the way back in. As the boat hits the beach the bowman will jump out and sprint up the beach to the finish line.

While Cornwall is strongly represented with crews from Perranporth, Porthtowan, St Agnes, Portreath and Bude all taking part, it is a group of expatriate Australians from London who are currently leading the Men's division.

The 'Twickenham Exiles' are one point clear of nearest rivals 'Porthtowan Bali Blues', with the 'Perranporth Desperados' in third place after two rounds.

In the Ladies division the 'Perranporth Rebel Angels' are leading the 'Twickenham Sheilas' by two points. 'Bude Great Mates' are currently in third, but with two more rounds after Watergate Bay, points earned here will be vitally important.

"We have had some fantastic events at the Extreme Academy already this year with White Stuff Surf Relief Day at the weekend and Veuve Clicquot Polo on the Beach in June," said Will Ashworth, Managing Director of The Hotel and Extreme Academy, Watergate Bay.

"This will be the first time the UK Surf Rowers League have come to Watergate Bay, and it should be another great evening of spectacular action on the beach."

A 500 metre section of the beach will be closed to the public for the racing, which will be patrolled by RNLI beach lifeguards on jetskis. Surfers and other water users will still be free to use the rest of the beach.

Racing starts at 7pm, and will last for around two hours.