It's been a tough year for Forster Bodyboarding Club.
With the onset of the COVID crisis in March delaying the start to their competitive season and the club then making the difficult decision to cancel their much-loved Jeff Wilcox Memorial event, the members were looking forward to finally getting their first club round off the ground on Sunday, July 26.
Taking into account the risks sporting events posed, the committee members had put a range of measures in place to ensure the event ran both smoothly and safely.
But the weather had other ideas.
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Club president Shane Chalker said despite a terrible forecast, conditions at Tuncurry's Nine Mile Beach weren't too bad at the start of the day.
However, after an hour of running the men's open division, things quickly deteriorated.
"The wind picked up from the east to about 20 knots and the swell came right up," Mr Chalker said.
"It was meant to come up slowly but there was no slowly about it.
"It was uncontestable."
Standouts before the event was called off included Grant Gardiner and Hayden Pisani, who posted a number of high scores in his early heats.
Despite the disappointment of having to abandon the day, Mr Chalker said there was something of a silver lining to the outcome.
Under ordinary circumstances the club would've held the Jeff Wilcox Memorial on the weekend, attracting a host of bodyboarders from up and down the East Coast.
"The way the conditions presented themselves, we would've been left scratching our heads as to where to hold the event," Mr Chalker said.
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He explained that the club had consulted with the Wilcox family about their decision to put the long-running event off until next year and all were in agreeance it was the right thing to do.
In regards to the club's attempts to run a successful competitive season, Mr Chalker said they would continue to assess things month by month, with the aim of running a contest on Sunday, August 30.
They were also considering the possibility of extending their usual season past November into December, in the hope of running five events for the year.
With an influx of young members joining the club in recent times, Mr Chalker said it was a shame to endure such a disrupted season, but he was confident the club would be able to retain those members until they could start competing again.
"We've kept in contact with everyone and kept them up to date with what we're doing," he said.
There is also hope yet for members wanting to surf in contests beyond the club rounds, with the long-running David 'Goose' Gosby Memorial event in Port Macquarie scheduled for late September.
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