Mooloolaba Tri-Sail-Athon 2013.It was tight racing across the three disciplines that made up this year’s Tri-Sail-Athon, with the top teams split by only one point and a count back.
Roger Ramjet's Rob Stevenson, John Cooke and David Hawthorne with surf athletes Denbi Stokes and Dave Smith celebrate their second place
Mooloolaba Yacht Club and Kawana Surf Life Saving Club partnered for the inaugural Tri-Sail-Athon which comprised an ocean swim off Mooloolaba, a short passage sailing race on Mooloolaba Bay and then back to Mooloolah River for a surf ski race.
Each sailing team was matched up with two surf athletes, one of which competed in the swim, the other on the surf ski and both in the sailing leg.
Mooloolaba Yacht Club’s commodore, Tracey Johnstone, said, 'the team members only met for the first time on Sunday morning, but it didn't take long for everyone to get into the spirit of the event with competitive ribbing between teams starting at the beach and not letting up until the overall winner was announced.
'We were incredibly lucky Sunday’s weather was perfect for the nine competing teams. The rain held off, the sun was out and the sea flat enough for the novice sailors to enjoy their first exposure to sailing,'
First up was the short ocean swim off Mooloolaba Beach with State of the Ark’s Ben McCauley leading the swimmers out of the water. Close on his heels was Rojer Ramjet’s Denbi Stokes, a former surf sport world champion.
It was then back to The Wharf to meet the boats all rafted up and ready for the next leg. There was little hesitancy from the surf athletes as they joined their sailing teams. The gentle north-east wind ensured the fleet got around Mudjimba Island and back to the finish line at Port Cartwright before the race time limit. First across the line in the pursuit race was David Leslie’s Shiraz with Logan Bell and Damian Collins enjoying the sail with a crew of very experienced sailors. The combined team of Chris Warnes’ Tanu and John Starks’ New Trick took out second place, while State of the Ark just slipped into third.
State of the Ark's two very happy novice sailors, but experience surf athletes, Craig Stringer and Ben McCaulley, delighted by their team's overall win
Back at the Wharf and it was quick change over from yachts to surf skis as the competitors anxiously watched heavy black clouds head in towards the land. While the sailors and swimmers kept dry under the cover of The Wharf Tavern, the surf ski paddlers battled around a challenging course right in front of The Wharf as finally, Predator’s Scott Brysdon, by the third leg, overtook Roger Ramjet’s David Smith to take out race honours. Tanu / New Tricks’ Guy Davis slipped into third place, but State of Ark’s Craig Stringer’s sixth place was just enough to secure that team the overall honours.
In second place on equal 11 points was Roger Ramjet and the Tanu / New Tricks team. After a count-back Roger Ramjet secured the second place honours.
'It was a huge day starting early and then finishing with everyone staying around for the boisterous prize giving party. During the party I had sailors and surf athletes coming up to me talking about how the event can be improved for next time so I guess we will be doing this again during next year, just bigger and better,' Johnstone said.