Paddlers battle rough waves

FINISHING: Paul Hill from Ulladulla came in at sixth place in the outrigger division in the Makai Cup. . Photo THERESE SPILLANE. Local competitors Paul Hill, Sampson Hollywood, Mark Afflick, Tony Ireland and Paul Burton after finishing the Makai Cup

This year’s event is being described as the best downhillocean race in the country by all who dared to step up to the start line andtake on mother nature off Ulladulla on the weekend.

For those who concurred their fears and for those whocreated new ones, the Makai Cup is now cemented its position on the OceanRacing calendar as the must do event.

Nine time world champion Dean Gardiner from Manly was welland truly in his element in the 4-5m swells and gusty southerly winds as hesurfed his way from Ulladulla Harbour to Bendalong a distance of over 17km in atime of 1hr 3 min.

See more photos from the race here.

The event, originally scheduled for Saturday, was postponedto Sunday after treacherous seas pounded the coastline putting competitor’slives and equipment at risk.

Local Makai paddlers Dion Carter, Paul Hill, Chris Brook,Paul Burton, Tony Ireland, Mark Afflick and Lewis Betts had the race of theirlives in a star-studded field with Chris Brook claiming first place in the SLSASpec Ski division along with all his teammates filling the remaining podiumspots.

Local businesses once again put their hands up to beinvolved with such a great event with special thanks to BIG4 Bungalow Park atBurrill Lake, Shoalhaven Water, Marine Rescue and IBuild Creations, RickPollock for his amazing support craft, Boots Great Outdoors Ulladulla, GoVitaUlladulla, Beach Art and Framing, Damo’s Electrical, AKWA Surf, Jack Daniels,Bruce “Esky” Mitchell, and of course the Boardwalk Café in Ulladulla.

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