Swamped: The Red Rock-Corindi boat crew pounds through the waves before eventually being tipped into the huge seas smashing Woolgoolga Beach.
Swamped: The Red Rock-Corindi boat crew pounds through the waves before eventually being tipped into the huge seas smashing Woolgoolga Beach. Leigh Jensen

Boats belted by big swell

A CRUEL sea took its toll on Saturday with round five of the Hoey Moey North Coast Surf Boat series abandoned after three events.

Woolgoolga beach was pounded relentlessly by waves in excess of two metres but with the program compacted to just one day of competition, the call went out at 11am to proceed.

But almost immediately the Red Rock-Corindi crew found themselves in the water with substantial damage done to the craft.

More collisions occurred including one from which the Coffs Harbour crew narrowly escaped.

First-aid officers were kept busy tending injured boaties.

And with no sign of the seas abating, an urgent meeting was called by organisers to discuss the situation.

A handful of rowers wanted to keep going but cooler heads prevailed and the event was abandoned.

Woolgoolga SLSC spokesperson Trevor Clark expressed the disappointment felt by all competitors.

“It’s unfortunate but the decision was made for safety reasons,” he said.

“No results are to count and it’s a pity as the large swell just pounded the boats.”

One round of the series remains with a two-day carnival booked for Yamba on February 12-13.

Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club will host the finals on March 26.



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