Ocean Thunder

Bilgola wins unique double at Ocean Thunder

Last Saturday, history was created at Dee Why Beach when the Bilgola crews managed to pull off the unique double of winning the Open Men and Open Women series of this most prestigious event.

Ocean Thunder has been conducted over four gruelling rounds of surfboat rowing which culminated in the final round at Dee Why Beach on Saturday.

Our Open Men crew comprising of Don McManus (sweep), Anthony O’Toole, Jarrad King, Mitch Foran and Brendan Murray came in at 4th place in the final. This then easily won the overall series for the crew. Having won Rounds 1 & 2, then 2nd in Round 3 setting up a good lead for them coming into the final round. The crew were a little unlucky in the final (double race) race, leading after the first leg before unluckily slewing on the way home the first time round. Anyway, a great effort from a crew which has, so far, dominated the Open Men’s racing this season.

In the girls Division our Bilgola Gold crew, with a couple of injuries in the boat, were unfortunately eliminated in the early rounds after going into Round 4 in equal 2nd position. Bad luck girls.

However, the Bilgola Black crew of Mitch Foran (straight as a gun barrel sweep), Nikki Sedgwick, Rhiannon Lea, Laura Brealey and Sasha Beadnall rowed magnificently all day to reach the finals. Prior to this round they were also leading the series. In the final race, which was a double race, the girls were just edged out of 1st place by North Cottesloe (WA).

However, the girl’s lead in the series was enough to record a great series win. They showed consistency with three 2nd places and one 3rd place.

This is the first time Bilgola has won the Ocean Thunder Series in either event, without the added performance of winning both the Open Men and Women’s Titles. Well done to all involved.

A special big thank you to the crew’s sponsors for this event, Culligan Water and Chocolate Box Training. I am sure the crews have returned the big favour in spades.

Next weekend, all of Bilgola’s crews will travel to Stockton Beach to compete for the club in the Australian Surfboat Rowers League, Australian Open Titles. This huge event brings crews from all over Australia and is second only to the Australian Surf Life Saving Championships. Good luck to all our crews for the weekend.

Our Open Men and Reserves Old Gold crew will be representing New South Wales in the Interstate Series on the Friday night. Go boys.