Ocean racing crews ready to hit the water

VICTORIA’S elite surf boat crews will converge on Port Fairy this weekend for round two of an ocean racing series.

Organisers have received more than 30 entries for round two of the Victorian arm of the Australian Surf Rowers League on Saturday.

Port Campbell and Port Fairy will carry the south-west Victorian baton for the round and are strong chances to claim class victories.

Port Campbell’s under 19 crew won round one of the series at Torquay last weekend, while Port Fairy was second in the men’s reserve grade.

Victorian series co-ordinator Aaron Tannahill said the competition had enjoyed a spike in interest which boded well for the sport.

“We had 38 crews at Torquay on the weekend,” he said.

“I don’t know if we’ll get that many (at Port Fairy) but there will be at least 30 which range from reserve grade, open men, open women and some juniors as well.

“We’re pretty happy. The numbers are up from last season.”

Tannahill said Port Fairy was without a doubt “the biggest improver across all divisions this season”.

“Their second place on the weekend shows they’re definitely capable of winning a round, if not winning the series,” he said.

“The Port Campbell under 19 crew won on the weekend as well. 

“It shows surf boat crews are definitely strong down the western way.”

Jan Juc — which includes former Camperdown Olympic rower James Marburg — Lorne and Woolamai are the leading contenders in the open men’s grade.

Jan Juc, St Kilda and Torquay will be the ones to watch in the open women’s competition. 

Racing begins at Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club at noon. Finals will start about 3pm.

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