More than 250 competitors hit the surf at Nielson Beach on Saturday for the first round of Wessel Petroleum Queensland Cup Surf Boat Series.
Dozens of surf boats were lined up on the sand and moved into position as crews readied themselves to take on the blustery conditions.
The choppy surf tested the crews as they got a taste of the competition they will face throughout the rest of the season.
In the opening round of Queensland Cup Surf Boat Series, representing the Bundaberg Region were surf life savers Brendan Woods (sweep), Kurt Wessel, Ryan McGregor, Matt Fasso and Mick Parsons.
Kurt said the local team had been training four times a week for nearly three months and they considered themselves in good shape, and as they crossed the finish line first in the initial heat it was looking positive.
The day only got better for the Bundaberg team as they took out the Reserve Men's Division in trying conditions at their home beach, and all five crewmates were stoked with the win.
Surf boat crews travelled from the Gold Coast in the south, and Yeppoon in the North to compete.
Wessel Petroleum Queensland Cup Surf Boat Series had a wet start and finish with four rounds in each division, before an elimination round and then a final.
Surf Boat Series boosts local economy
Kurt said by hosting the Queensland Cup Surf Boat Series in the Bundaberg Region it helped boost the local economy.
“There’s 250 competitors that have come to the region, so for local accommodation and local businesses it’s really great, and hopefully we can do it once a year and then make it an annual event, as it hasn’t been here for five or six years,” he said.
“We would love to see the sport a little more active in the area.”
The 800-metre race is part of the state series, and Kurt said he had been involved for two decades and it was an enjoyable sport that showed a lot of camaraderie.
“I’ve been involved since I was 15 and I’m now 35, so that’s 20 years I’ve been involved in the sport, and my father was involved in it also so it’s a legacy thing for me,” Kurt said.
“It’s open to Surf Life Saving Queensland males and females, starts from under 19 and goes all the way up to masters divisions.”
Bundaberg were placed second overall in the open men with Currumbin coming first and Maroochydore in third.
However, Bundaberg did get to take out a first place because by the end of the competition they were at the top in reserve grade.
Surf Boat Series winners:
- Masters – Maroochydore
- U-19 Men – Currumbin
- U-19 Women – Maroochydore
- U-23 Men – Maroochydore
- U-23 Women – Dicky Beach
- Reserve Men – Bundaberg
- Reserve Women – Noosa Heads
- Open Men – Currumbin
- Open Women – Mooloolaba
Earlier report: Bundaberg SLSC hosts surf boat action