Bluff to Bluff - Winning brothers stoked to beat big names home
Bluff to Bluff winners Tom and Sam Norton, of Burnie. Picture: Katrina Dodd.
THE race record and overall victory were pleasing, but brothers Sam and Tom Norton say defeating two Australian representatives was sweeter in Saturday's 65-kilometre Bluff to Bluff ocean race.
The Coastal pair beat home national duo Mark Anderson and Greg Tobin, who were also competing in the ocean ski division, in a record time of four hours, nine minutes and 52 seconds.
Tom, 19, admitted to pre-race jitters.
``I was a bit nervous going into the event knowing that Mark and Greg were going to be competing,'' Tom said.
``To be able to beat them, I think that was the most pleasing part of the result.''
Sam added: ``The two mainlanders really made it a challenge for us, but it was great to get the better of them in the end.''
The Burnie brothers won six out of the seven legs, claiming two sprint sections along the course to walk away with over $800 in prize money.
Both agreed favourable conditions aided their cause.
``We started off with virtually no assistance for the first 20 kilometres, but after the wind really got up it was perfect,'' Sam, 24, said.
``We were lucky to get those kinds of conditions.
``It was fun paddling with a good tail wind.
``When it's flat, the fastest guy will win every time, but when there is some chop there is a lot of skill involved as well.''
The Devonport Surf Club team won the surf ski division in a record time of four hours, 38 minutes and 28 seconds, while dual reigning outrigger marathon champion Todd Cohen smashed the previous best time in the OC1 category by more than 10 minutes.
After a very successful second holding of the Bluff to Bluff, race director Leigh Paine is adamant the event can only get bigger.
More than 70 competitors took to the water on Saturday, which is double last year's entrants.
``It was another huge success,'' Paine said of the race.
``Multiple race records were broken and I think it can only grow from here.
``The interstate competitors were amazed by the professionalism of the event and the region's hospitality.
``I expect there to be over 100 entrants next year because the feedback has been overwhelming.''
BLUFF TO BLUFF WINNERS
Ocean ski: Sam and Tom Norton 4h09m52s;
Surf ski: Devonport Surf Club 4h38m28s;
OC1: Todd Cohen 5h10m25s;
OC2: Cradle Coast under-21s 6h01m23s;
Women's ocean ski: Lisa Wadling and Wendy Rentjes 5h26m50s;
Masters ocean ski: Matt O'Garey and Tim Altman 4h24m41s.