Tim Jacobs wins 1st Ocean Series Race

Saturday, 13 October 2007 04:49 | Written by  Jamie Stewart
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[Jamie Stewart sent us this report of the 1st race in the Ocean Series in Sydney, Australia.  Competition was fierce with a host of top names in surf ski taking part...  John Liversage of Abbey Digital kindly sent us the photos.]

Tim Jacobs Ocean Series Surf Ski
Tim Jacobs wins... (Photo: abbeydigital.com.au)

Tim Jacobs Wins First Ocean Series Race

The first race of the Sydney northern beaches "Ocean Series" was held at Dee Why beach on 29 September.  Conditions on the morning of the race were far from ideal, but that didn't stop over a hundred ski paddlers from all over Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong turning up to race.  The format of the event was two 7.5km laps, with an ocean start and a run up the beach to the finish.  Each lap had a relatively flat first leg, protected from the howling south-wester by Dee Why headland.  The ‘downwind' leg from Dee Why to Long Reef was bumpy, with some decent 2-3ft runs approaching Long Reef but mostly lots of cross-chop, bringing out everyone's surfing skills.  The final leg, back to Dee Why, was a slog straight into the wind for 2km.

Ocean Series Surf Ski course
Race 1 Course

Fast Start 

The start was fast, with the lead pack of ten or so paddlers breaking away early.  There were two wash groups going, one on the Fenn double and one on Timmy Jacobs.  It was great to see a diverse group of paddlers in the top pack.  There were the usual suspects of Timmy and Dean Gardiner (who have both been back in training since coming 3rd and 5th respectively in the ARB World Cup in Durban) as well as Dave Kissane who has been recovering from injury.  The pack also included the likes of Ian Timbrell from Wollongong, David Smith (freshly returned from qualifying the Australian K4 for the Beijing Olympics), Ben Allen (an adventure racing champion and contender for the 2007 Coollangatta Gold Ironman) and Matt Rees. 

Ocean Series Race 1 start
Ocean Series Race 1 Start - Tim Jacobs and Tommy Woodriff in the mix... (Photo: abbeydigital.com.au)

Surprisingly, the first downwind stretch didn't seem to break up the top ten much, as everyone was able to get the runs and no-one really got much of an advantage.  By Long Reef, however, Timmy, Dean, Dave Kissane and the double were leading, with Timmy taking advantage of the headwind to switch up a gear and put some space between himself and the pack.  The top ten started to get a bit more strung out in the headwind, with everyone trying to hang on to the guy in front and not let them get away. 

Second Lap 

The headwind slog on Lap 2 was even worse than on the first lap, definitely bringing fitness and brute strength into the equation.  Timmy ended up taking line honours in 1 hr 9 mins and 16 seconds, about half a minute ahead of the double.  Dean Gardiner and Dave Kissane were second and third, with the rest of the top ten within a few minutes of the leaders.  Dual Olympic kayak paddler Yanda Nossiter won the womens' race and was 37th overall.  Nick Holt and Tommy Woodruff also deserve a mention, both on surf lifesaving specification surf skis (spec skis) and placing very respectably in tough conditions.  Murray Stewart was the only Aussie team member from Durban 2007 who didn't compete as he is still recovering from surgery (turns out that his "stomach ache" the day before the ARB World Cup was more than likely caused by his appendix rupturing, which he only received surgery for 2 months later).  

The race was very well run and it was excellent to see a huge turnout, especially for so early in the Sydney paddling calendar.  I should note that many of the guys who placed at Dee Why backed up for the 18km East Coast Ocean Challenge on Saturday, with Timmy Jacobs winning the event (check out the full results at www.ecoc.com.au).  Dean Gardiner flew from Sydney to the Gold Coast on Sunday to race in the cash-to-compete event where he came second to Ken Wallace.

Top Three Series Winners to go to Durban 2008 

The event at Dee Why was the first in a five race series in which the top ten placegetters in each race accumulate points toward the overall series.  The top three in the series win a trip to Durban to compete in the world cup 2008.  If the first race is anything to go by, the field in Sydney is hot and everyone with a fighting chance is going to be seriously vying for the trips to Durban.  Next race is the Lion Island Challenge on 20 October.

Dave Kissane
Dave Kissane (Photo: abbeydigital.com.au)
 

Leader Board 

The individual leader board as at the end of the first race is as follows:

Points

Name

10

Tim Jacobs

9

Dean Gardiner

8

Dave Kissane

7

Ian Timbrell

6

Ben Allen

5

David Smith

4

Matt Rees

3

Mark Minchin

2

Jamie Stewart

1

Nick Holt (spec ski)

 

Ocean Series Surf Ski logo 

Full results are online at  http://www.oceanseries.com.au/events/20070929/results.pdf.

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