The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - GREG STOLZ

GOLD COAST BUREAU CHIEF THERE were thrills and spills aplenty at Alexan­dra Head­land yesterday as some of Queens­land’s top surf­boat row­ers took on the power of the ocean.

A solid 1.5m east­erly swell meant chal­leng­ing con­di­tions for com­peti­tors – and spec- tac­u­lar view­ing for spec­ta­tors – in the open­ing round of the BP Wes­sel Surf­boat Clas­sic.

A num­ber of dra­matic wipe-outs and mi­nor in­juries in the dump­ing, wind-af­fected waves saw or­gan­is­ers up­grade the surf dan­ger level and make hel­mets com­pul­sory.

Or­gan­is­ers said it was per­fect prac­tice for the state and Aus­tralian surf ti­tles to be held at Broad­beach in March and April.

UPS AND DOWNS: The Yep­poon un­der-23 ladies surf row team hit a wave in the open­ing round of the BP Wes­sel Surf­boat Clas­sic at Alexan­dra Head­land. Picture: Lachie Mil­lard

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