Surf rowers let rip at Widemouth Bay

Round Four of the UK Surfboat Rowers League’s Summer Series took place on Saturday, with a host of crews battling furious conditions in Widemouth Bay, Cornwall.

Porthtowan Blue Bali claimed top spot – and seven Summer Series points – in all three of the men’s heats, with Porthtowan Black & Blue picking up wins in both of the women’s heats.

Four-to-five-foot surf combined with a mix of sand and stone on the start-line to provide a formidable start to the Summer Series’ fourth round, with a gutter and an outside bank beginning to kick in as the tide started dropping.

In the women’s event, the Bournemouth Bachannals responded to the starter’s whistle by cautiously waiting for an opening in the shorebreak, while the Porthtowan Blue Rinsers found themselves abruptly dumped back onto the beach mere minutes after jumping in.

Two crews managed to turn the buoys, as the Bournemouth women’s crew set off to loud cheers from the beach with conditions continuing to cause plenty of problems.

However, the day’s racing was brought to a premature close after an unfortunate incident in the final heat of the men’s event.

A member of the Croyde Kangaroos crew trapped his finger between oar and boat during a particularly tricky wave, and the light began to fail as the injury was tended to.

Porthtowan Blue Bali’s 36 points for the day saw them open up a daunting 31 point lead at the top of the men’s overall Summer Series points table, while the Porthtowan Black & Blue crew extended their lead at the top of the women’s to 22.5 points.

The final stop of the 2011 UKSRL Summer Series is scheduled for Saturday 24th September, in Bournemouth, Dorset.