Log in

ASRL Newsletter August 2021

ASRL Newsletter

August 2021

The ASRL monthly newsletter is BACK and it is PACKED with information!

This newsletter includes;
  1. ASRL President Update
  2. National Surf Sports Meeting
  3. Incoming ASRL Vice Presidents 
  4. We Say Thanks - Don Cotterill
  5. Hall of Fame - Rex Dale
  6. National Team Selection Event Update
  7. SHR / ASRL App Training
  8. 24 Hour Row Update
  9. George Bass Marathon - Postponed
  10. Member Profile - Lizzie Scott
  11. VALE - Peter Stewart
  12. 2021 ASRL Open Finals Package
  13. States Update

Well, what a start to the top job! It’s been a full-on start, meeting with all the big cogs that make surf boats turn on a national level. Thanks to everyone who has reached out and offered assistance and guidance, it's very much appreciated. Michael has stepped down this year leaving the ASRL heading in a great direction, that we as a committee plan to continue.

The committee has jumped straight into gear, working on planning events for this summer and shaping not only the future of surf boats but the future of Surf Sports around Australia. To start off we have a few announcements.

It gives me great pleasure to announce on behalf of the ASRL Committee the following appointments. 
ASRL Event Director - Natasha Tunney
ASRL Open Referee – Tamara Brawn
ASRL National Selection Referee – Sandy Clarke

We are looking to announce dates and venues very shortly so standby!

This year we will be introducing a monthly newsletter to keep everyone up to date with what your committee is up to and to give you some insights into what is happening around the states.  If you have any suggestions or content get in contact with your state representative or the ASRL via our social platforms. We now have a full committee appointed and we welcome Phil and Grant to the team.

Over the past few months, we have been working on the agenda items we took to the National Surf Sports Meeting. All the items we presented were endorsed by the SLSA Surf Sports Advisory committee (SSAC). Some of these action items now sit with us to go away and help re-word the proposed changes in collaboration with the SLSA Surf sports team. Via the SSAC we aim to present these changes to the SLSA board for final approvals.  These meetings have been very productive, and we have been given great support by SLSA. We will continue to close out these items and hopefully see them implemented for the benefit of the sport. You may have seen Russell Lamb's posts on social media raising the very same issues. It’s great to see we are all like minded and that the ASRL is already addressing issues that are of importance amongst our membership.

Agenda items we took to the meeting included:
- National Short Course Championship moved out of Aussies to a standalone event in January
- Removal of minimum patrol hours requirement
- Allowance to have composite crews at Surf Boat events
- Allowance for recreational users to use sport equipment
- Elevation of Open Male/Female div to A1 priority at Aussies
- At Aussies, Lifesaver Relay to be held as a premier event on Saturday afternoon at Aussies and to also be elevated in the priority system
- Removal of 120 & 140 Masters surf boat divisions at Aussies and inclusion of 240 Female
As of last week, we have begun to work closely on the rationale and removal of minimum patrol hours, collecting data to present to the board and surf sports committee. We are also working on a model for composite teams that will allow those crews that lose a rower or sweep close to championship events to add a member from outside their club. There are many other initiatives in the pipeline that aim to improve outcomes for our volunteers and make participation in our great sport that little bit easier.
It’s been great to see some rowing action and people out training, it won’t be too long until till “Guns Up”. Stay safe and check in on your fellow rowers.

Nick Sampson
ASRL President
On Saturday 26 June, the ASRL had representation at the National Sport Advisory Committee meeting.

Agenda items we took to the meeting included:
  • National Short Course Championship moved out of Aussies to a stand alone event in January
  • Removal of minimum patrol hours requirement
  • Allowance to competitive rights with more than one club
  • Allowance for recreational users to use sport equipment
  • Elevation of Open Male/Female div to A1 priority at Aussies
  • At Aussies, Lifesaver Relay to be held as a premier event on Saturday afternoon at Aussies and to also be elevated in the priority system
  • Removal of 120 & 140 Masters surf boat divisions at Aussies and inclusion of 240 Female
The meeting was extremely positive and the outcomes from the meeting will be shared once the minutes have been released.
The Australian Surf Rowers League would like to introduce two incoming ASRL Vice Presidents. The incoming members replace Don Cotterill (did not re-elect) and Nick Sampson (moved into President role).

GRANT HOWE (Tasmania) - One Year Term
PHIL CHIPMAN (Queensland) - Two Year Term

Click the link to read each of the bios - https://bit.ly/3BCgcyt

Nick Sampson (President)
Natasha Tunney (Secretary)
Rory Gillespie (Treasurer)
Edwina Wright (Vice President)
Geoff Wilson (Vice President)
Grant Howe (Vice President)
Grant Wilkinson (Vice President)
Phil Chipman (Vice President)
Rod Costa (Vice President)
The Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) would like to notify the membership that ASRL Life Member, Don Cotterill, has decided to not re-elect for the position of Vice President.

Don was a valued member of the ASRL committee since 2001 where he served as Vice President uninterrupted.

Thank you Don Cotterill for your dedication to the ASRL, and we look forward to continuing to see you on the beach for the years to come.

To read our detailed tribute, click here - https://mailchi.mp/asrl/the-asrl-say-thanks-don-cotterill 
The Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) are proud to announce REX DALE as the forty-sixth inductee into the ASRL Hall of Fame.

Pictured are Rex's boat crew at Dee Why when winning gold at Australian Championships in 1975 - Peter Grant, Bob Luce, Lance Hately, Gary McKellar and Rex Dale.

Read our full statement including Rex's achievements - https://mailchi.mp/asrl/asrl-hall-of-fame-inductee-rex-dale
The ASRL can confirm that the National Team Selection Event will be held at TUGUN, QLD on Saturday 11 December 2021.

Categories are;
Open Male
Open Female
Under 23 Male (Development Team)
Under 23 Female (Development Team)

More information including nomination process and other supporting activities will be released throughout the springs months. In addition, further information on when and where the 2022 Trans-Tasman Test will be announced shortly.

The ASRL are committed to delivering world class events, and the National Team Selection Event is a high priority of the ASRL.

Back in May we hosted what was a fantastic day of training for 40 face to face attendees from 6 states, along with a few who joined via Zoom! Participants were lucky to have Gary McCoy present on the SHR assessment and then Sandy Clarke covered to utilise the ASRL Draws system and Push draws to the ASRL app.
The below is on behalf of 24 Hour Row organisers. If you haven't registered, now might be a good time to jump on https://24hourrow.com.au/ for more information due to the postponement of the event.

The 24 Hour Row organisers, together with Gotcha4Life have reviewed the current COVID-19 situation together with Surf Life Saving and believe that the best decision in the current climate is to postpone the 24 Hour Row.

With three of the five states who are taking part now in lockdown, and no confirmed date of restrictions easing, we will be moving this important event to 30th and 31st of October 2021. This will allow time for each state to be out of lockdown and we hope numbers at events will be uncapped by then. We will be updating the website and Facebook page with this information.

We would like to ask event organisers to assist in communicating this news to your individual supporters and connections.

From 24 Hour Row organisers


Wording from Sue Hunt

The George Bass Committee met on Monday, 2nd August 2021, and as a result have made the decision to postpone the GBM2022.

This decision has been made in consultation with several key stakeholders, with the current COVID-19 situation in mind the Committee’s decision was unanimous.

With the uncertainty around movement across Australia and New Zealand we cannot guarantee the safety of our competitors, their families and support teams, our Officials and each of our respective Communities.

Several other factors were taken into consideration,
· Sudden, lockdowns, border closures and enforced quarantine
· COVID-19 compliance – consideration of public health order around sport and events
· Lack of training, many of you have been unable to train for in the past year
· Square meter restriction campgrounds eg. at this point Tathra Country Club can only accommodate 70
· Campground facilities – rostering times for everyone to use them, cleaning etc
· Presentations - numbers of persons able to attend venues is extremely limited or non-existent
· And selfishly, the Far South Coast region has had very little exposure to COVID-19 and with the introduction of the large numbers of persons from the multitude of regions we were expecting to attend the GBM2022, the risk to our community, which has limited respiratory resources, is considerable.

We are also highly aware that many crews journeyed to the Far South Coast for the GBM2020 did so at great personal and financial expense only to have the event cancelled due to the bushfire emergency. We wish to avoid having to cancel it again and would much prefer to welcome you all back for a well-supported event, with high participation in all divisions and training regimes at their peak.

As a committee we have worked hard for the past 18 months to make the GBM2022 event something extra special after the bushfires and we share the disappointment that many of you will be feeling, we thank you for your understanding. We are also aware that some of you may not agree with our decision, we will not enter any debate regarding this matter.

Participants who have paid entry fees will be contacted in the next few days.

Information regarding GBM2023 (starting 02/01/2023) will come towards the end of this year.

Stay well.

Yours in Surf Lifesaving

Sue Hunt
On behalf of the George Bass Marathon Committee

Rower Profile - Lizzie Scott

Club - Mordialloc LSC (Victoria)
Created by Meredith Baker on VSRL Surf Boats Facebook group

How did you get involved in surf boat rowing?
I was in my high school rowing team and our coach suggested we go down and try surfboats at Frankston LSC. Next minute I had my bronze and was a patrolling member, then I transferred to Mornington when I was 18 and started competing.

Tell us about your history in rowing so far?
I rowed for Mornington for a few years, then did a season at Rosebud followed by about a 5 year hiatus from the sport. During that time, some old Mornington boaties and I were commenting on a Facebook ad for a cheap rundown surfboat, debating if we should split the costs and then be able to go out chasing waves whenever we liked. Matt Mulcahy must have seen what we were thinking, because he got in touch and told me he was putting a women’s crew together. I got back in the boat in late 2019 with Mordialloc and haven’t looked back. Also, we never bought the boat because nobody wanted to store it in their backyard.

What’s been your highlight in surf boat rowing?
Highlights would have to include repping the Big V as an U23s crew in 2012 and as a ressies crew in 2020 (even though conditions meant we missed out on racing at Mollymook). Also, catching bombs out the back of Lorne pier and regular visits from the dolphins at Mornington definitely deserve a mention.
If you could add one thing to the sport to make it better, what would it be and why?.
Bring back the State Titles on the Labour Day long weekend! I used to bloody love racing heats on Saturday and finals on Sunday... then running amok at the Anglesea pub &/or caravan park on the Sunday night to celebrate. Having it all in a single afternoon makes it feel a bit like any other carnival, and for those of us who can’t attend Aussies, States is our big season finale!

Who have been the most influential people in your time in surf boat rowing?
Matt Mulcahy has gotta be number one - he took me to my first ever States and Aussies and I have the utmost respect for him as a sweep. I’ve followed him across clubs and I love learning new things from him every season.
I’m also inspired by Kevin and Tina Spooner, who are still pulling on the wetsuits and line judging when it feels about 10 degrees! What legends.

When you’re not rowing or training, what keeps you busy?
I’m probably still hanging around a beach somewhere if I’m honest, giving my dog a run if it’s windy or snorkelling if it’s not. I love going camping and hiking, netball, yoga, and of course sinking a few beers with mates. I fund these activities by working as a civil engineer in the water industry.
What would your advice be to a first season rower, or anyone thinking of starting the sport?
Don’t get sunscreen on your handle or you’re gonna have a bad time!! Scrub your hands with wet sand after every time you reapply. (Also, on personal reflection, probably don’t date your sweep haha)

What’s the best advice or guidance you’ve received and who gave it to you?
Some of the best advice I received was from Trevor Jarvis when I was at Mornington. He told me to focus on my oar in the surf and stop looking for the waves behind me - because I’d only panic and overthink my catch which meant I’d stuff things up completely.
Oh, and an honourable mention for advice goes to Lara Squires for the tip about Sudocrem.

What’s your favourite part about surf boat rowing?
My favourite parts about surfboats are the glorious roadtrips with mates, travelling to amazing beaches and catching absolute bombs with your crew. I love the surfboat community in Vic and how the rivalries become camaraderie as soon as we leave the state. I’m also a big fan of a post-row froffy to debrief after a carnival.

Tell us your funniest surf boat story…
When Matt’s kids were all at Mornington in youth/nippers they would all train while we were out in the surfboat. I was unaware that Matt was playing chicken with his eldest, Kevin, who was on a nipper board as we were rowing towards him. My oar hit him square in the chest and knocked him off his board... I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me.
There’s also one I won’t mention featuring you Meredith Baker, involving a rowing trip and a wooden cactus, but people can ask me on the beach if they need more info on that one.
The Australian Surf Rowers League and the surf boat community were devastated to hear of the passing of Peter Stewart, who was pulled from the water unconscious during the Fannie Bay Swim Classic on 18 July 2021.

Read our full statement - https://mailchi.mp/asrl/vale-peter-stewart-darwin-slsc

The 2021 ASRL Open Surf Boat Finals went right down to the wire! Here is the video package of the event - CLICK ABOVE

The event was held at Mollymook and Long Beach in NSW in March 2021. Your commentators are Phil Stivano and Nick Sampson. #TeamNavyASRL #ILoveSydney

Thanks to our proud supporters of this event;
Team Navy
Destination NSW
Shoalhaven City Council
Mollymook Surf Club


New South Wales
  • NSW Surf Boat schedule for 2021/22 season nearly finalised (all dates/events subject to change and COVID requirements 
  • NSW Surf Boat Panel appointed which includes Mick Lang, Brett Main, Peter Spence and Greg Heard
State Selection Events are 
  • Hawks Nest 27-28 November
  • North Cronulla 18-19 December
  • Queenscliff 15-16 January 
  • North Steyne (TBC)
Northern Territory
  • Had a very successful surfboat weekend with Pete tidswell, brought out 11 new sweeps and 2 s3 signed off
  • NT State Championships are coming up on the 27-29th of August
  • Everyone was keen for a Broome trip for the sunset challenge but COVID had other plans
  • Mindil have plans to compete in the massive Murray paddle
  • Darwin are doing their annual row to Mandurah in early August

ASRLQ Committee 
  • Corey has stepped up from Sunshine Coast rep. to Vice President, but will still be performing his role as QLD State Team lead 
  • Scott Clements from Northcliffe is our new Gold Coast Rep. Joining with Anthony Fox from Noosa as Sunshine Coast rep

ASRLQ Development 
  • We continue in our 4th year of our Surf Rowing Clinics - with our first one for the season being held at Etty Bay (Cairns) on the 7/8th August. Focussing on our goal to grow our regional clubs
  • Mooloolaba SLSC are holding a 'Youth Academy' in early September which will run for a 6 week period - already a huge success with all Jr / U23 crews being filled within their club
  • We intend on holding an unofficial U17 event at our first carnival of the season on 13th Nov which happens to be the Noosa Youth Carnival. We have a big focus on youth this season to help grow the grass roots.
  • Open division won’t be forgotten with the continuation of our valued sponsor BP Wessel Petroleum once again providing prize money for open men and women and other divisions.
South Australia
  • Congratulations to SLSA President and ‘boatie’ John Baker ESM on his induction into Surf Life Saving SA's Hall of Fame. John is pictured aboveon the right alongside fellow boaties, SLSSA President Kevin ‘Brakey’ Watkins and ASRL Secretary Natasha Tunney
  • SA Sweep school to start in September. This will run off a similar model to Queensland and Western Australia
  • Top 5 male & female boat crews in SA will be selected to race in three rounds of the SA Surf League with board, ski, swim & beach competitors. Five teams will go head to head to battle it out for the cash prize pool. All five teams are selected by a panel and will be evenly matched to provide close, hot racing
  • SA & Vic will come together for SA's season opener at Robe Dec 4th

SBRT was in decline in the 19/20 season, lacking in numbers in crew and club participation, it was generally felt by a few passionate participants things had to change.
At the conclusion of the Co-vid halted 19/20 season, led by new ASRL Vice President Grant Howe, a few passionate members reformed the SRBT committee in Tasmania.
Planning has structured around the three themes that have become apparent from discussions and brainstorming during our meetings. The three key areas we have agreed to focus on over a three year rebuild were;
  • Competition
  • Recruitment
  • Development
To achieve our goals as outlined above, regular engagement with all stakeholders, including SLST, and ARSL is required.

One year into our three year plan, some of the highlights for season 20/21 include in no particular order
  • Sweeps accreditation resulting in 35 accredited sweeps state-wide
  • Over 100% increase in crew numbers from the previous season
  • Successful Come and Try Days held in the North and South of the State
  • 2021 four round Navy Series held
  • Penguin U23 Men making semi finals at Australian Titles
  • Two Burnie Masters Crews amongst medal winners at Australian Titles
  • Engagement level amongst members is high and “cross club barrier free” to assist each other and the sport to grow
As a group we are confident and excited for what we may achieve over the remaining 2 years of our initial 3 year strategy.
  • Formed VSRL Youth Panel, convened by Pat Spinazzola, first meeting was held on 3 July at Anglesea SLSC which was followed by a VSRL Forum looking at development of our sport and at the recovery post the peak (hopefully) period of COVID 
  • Sweep and coaching weekend planned for 23-24 October at Port Fairy
  • Developing an online method so sweeps/coaches can share programs across the state
Western Australia
  • Albany Surf Craft Challenge, 1ST weekend in June each year which is a  13km row from Princess Royal Harbour out into ocean finishing at Albany SLSC. A record 36 surf boats started this year and the field included several still water rowers in their first competition and new to surf boats. This event continues to attract more crews each year.
  • The weekend included a Sweep coaching and Wave session at Denmark on the Saturday before the Surf Craft Challenge on Sunday.
  • Pre Avon Descent fun day at Champion Lakes Rowing Course Sunday 1st August was postponed due to weather conditions.
  • Established a Rowing Coaching partnership with Fremantle Rowing Club. Offering coaching still water and surf boat throughout winter as a lead into summer of surf boat racing. Offers the opportunity for sweeps to accompany coaches in dinghies for still water on water sessions to pick up technique coaching methods.

On and off water coaching , coaching seminars, still water racing is available as part of the package with fees included.

Takes competitors through to Surf Lifesaving State Titles.

On going Sweep Coaching sessions at various locations with a variety of instructors every 2nd Sunday until the end of September.

Make sure you follow us on Instagram!

Exclusive surf boat content ✔️
3,500+ followers and growing ✔️
Plenty of banter, laughs and surf boat action ✔️

Open Instagram, follow us @teamnavyasrl and join in on the fun! Don’t forget to #TeamNavyASRL on your social posting!
Copyright © 2021 Australian Surf Rowers League Inc, All rights reserved.
You have received this email as a subscriber to the Australian Surf Rowers League
Visit our website: www.asrl.com.au

Share Us...

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to TwitterSubmit to LinkedIn

Subscribe to our Mailing List!

Search our Site