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ASRL Newsletter September 2021

sept update newsletter final

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

This newsletter includes;
  1. ASRL President Update
  2. Save the Date - ASRL Open at Elouera
  3. Social Media / Comms WE NEED YOUR HELP
  4. Q & A with Griffo
  5. The Loose History of the Modern Surfboat Manufacture
  6. National Team Selection Event Update
  7. Heroes - North Steyne Boaties are Recognised
  8. 24 Hour Row Update
  9. Instagram reshare - Coolum SLSC
  10. 2018 ASRL Open Highlights Package
  11. States Update

*Having trouble reading this on your mobile device? Click HERE

A month comes around really fast as NSW enters what seems to be the never ending life with restrictions. There is now light at the end of the tunnel. It's great to see the states that can, getting out in the boat and catching some winter waves. I know I speak for NSW here by saying we love being able to reminisce so make sure you're posting it up and tag @teamnavyasrl so we can share for all to view. 

Planning continues on our events and we hope to be able to deliver our premier events as per usual and will be looking at all options available to us, our event director has been working hard to have all the preliminary meetings with the stakeholders to get events locked in. As each month comes we will update on the progress on these events and any possible changes that may be required. As soon as any decisions are made you all will be notified. 

We are continuing on our journey with all our discussion points that we took to the May national surf sports meeting and by next month will hopefully be able to announce some major change with lots of meetings happening this month with all levels of SLS. As always if you have input on how you think things should be changing, get in touch. As the ASRL we are here to represent rowers on the national arena so speak to us. 

I know from personal experience this has been an extremely challenging time for our NSW and VIC team especially. 10-1212 weeks without seeing crewmates who you spend every waking moment with it seems during summer. Has taken its toll so remember to reach out to your mates and connect by any means available to you, Keep up hope that we will have events this summer, stay together and stay safe. 

In closing, I would like to acknowledge the following members of the wider surf boat family who have tragically passed away since the previous newsletter.  

  • Graeme Bruce
  • Peter 'Mick' Ellercamp
  • Ken Murray
Nick Sampson
ASRL President

Australia’s premier surf boat event will be heading back to one of Australia’s favourite beaches in 2022, bringing more than 3,000 competitors, supporters and event officials to Cronulla in Sydney’s south.

The 2022 Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) Open will be held at Cronulla’s Elouera beach from 17 – 20 February 2022, with over 350 surf boat crews from almost 100 clubs expected to attend. This equates to thousands of surf life savers from across Australia who will head to Elouera for four days of exhilarating surf boat racing.

It is the biggest stand-alone surf boat racing event in Australia with divisions of surf boat racing being contested including Open Male, Open Female, Reserve Male, Reserve Female, Under 23 Male, Under 23 Female, Under 19 Male, Under 19 Female and Masters.

The event also features finals on all four days of racing including Masters finals on Thursday, the Interstate Championships on Friday, Reserve finals on Saturday and the remaining finals to be held during the action packed Sunday afternoon.

The ASRL Open is proudly supported by Team Navy, the NSW Government through Destination NSW, Sutherland Shire Council and Elouera SLSC.
Are you the creative type? Do you have the magic touch on social media and most importantly, do you want to help promote the greatest sport in the world?

The ASRL are calling for interested individuals to assist with the delivery of our social media and communications.

We are seeking people to help with;
• Posting on social media throughout the season (Instagram and Facebook) AND/OR
• Creation of our EDM communication as required

If you are interest or want more information, please personal message our Facebook page or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Alan 'Griffo' Griffiths has decided he has announced at a surf boat carnival for the last time. His career has spanned over 42 years, announcing at events across local, state, national and international level.

We wanted to discuss Griffo's achievements, his favourite moments, ask what is next in his life, and just discuss him why he loves surf boat rowing so much! Aaron Tannahill spent a couple of hours on the phone with Griffo to ask him many questions as we say THANKS for volunteering over four decades at our carnivals.

You will also find some words from ASRL Life Member, and great mate, Bert Hunt.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the Q & A in writing via clicking the link below.
The wording via below is compiled by Bert Hunt, Life Member ASRL

If you would like to contribute to this document please email Bert Hunt This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0412 440 763 to have a chat!

This document hasn’t been researched to the point of total accuracy and isn’t meant to be the definitive compilation of the stages of surfboat manufacture. It is written with a view to inviting others to provide some of the detail to backfill some of the gaps. Apologies in advance to any boat builder missed or for any detail not correct, as this is an attempt to create a running history of our evolution and later versions will correct and record and add any missing pieces.
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.

Congratulations to Ross Downey and Piteter Marais from North Steyne SLSC 'Mullets' surf boat crew for receiving the SLS SNB Rescue of the Year! The two young men received the award for their heroic efforts when rescuing a member of the public at 2021 ASRL Open, held at Mollymook in March 2021.

On behalf of everyone involved with the Australian Surf Rowers League, congratulations, and THANK YOU!

Wording below from David Maguire

Ross Downey and Pieter Marais from the North Steyne Mullets Surf Boat Crew on Saturday at the ASRL Open at Mollymook saved a man drowning in a massive rip in huge seas.

The two young U18 rowers noticed a man drowning north of the competition area and sprinted down and dove into the treacherous surf to save the mans life. The two young life savers got to the drowning man and stayed with him until the Jet Ski from the boat area came to assist.

If it wasn’t for the actions of the two young boat rowers the outcome would have been fatal. Ron Pomering announcing the rescue occurring at the event, although wasn’t aware at the time of the bravery of the young surf boat rowers.

Insert photo is of photo of Ross and Pieter rowing Bow and second bow for North Steyne
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.

24 Hour Row event organisers have moved 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

And hopefully for those in affected areas, this can happen soon ❤️


“Best way to start your day, with the sunrise, some surf, laughs, good friends and teamwork.” ??

The ASRL OPEN is heading BACK to ELOUERA!! Here is a highlights package from the historic 2018 ASRL Open, held at Elouera in amazing conditions!



New South Wales
  • NSW Boat Panel have been working with NSW SLSA and the branches to lock in the carnival calendar for the season and this have been sent out to the Clubs
  • We will be very fluid with carnival movements if and when needed, the aim is to ensure we get as much racing in as we can in NSW
  • NSW State Team Selection – 3 carnivals, best 2 results. The 3 carnivals are in 3 different branches, they are all 2 day carnivals and we have 1 in each month of Nov, Dec & Jan.
  • Tea Gardens Hawks Nest – Saturday 27th & Sunday 28th November
  • North Cronulla – Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th December
  • Queenscliff – Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th January
Northern Territory
  • No updated provided, although we are looking to have state title results in the next edition
  • Yeppoon Surf boat clinic set for the 11th/12th Sept (just gone). ASRLQ weren't able to have Cairns, but we are still working to go up there at some stage
  • Focussing and encouraging clubs to bring in fresh people. We're doing a Rookie Lucky Draw, this will be our only $$ endorsement for the season. (see flyer above for details) Proudly supported by BP Wessel Petroleum - longstanding sponsor of ours 
  • Noosa Youth Carnival locked in and ready to go for the 2nd year in a row, and opening up divisions to U17 - U19 & U23. This is to bring in some kids from nippers and keep it tame for their first carnival
South Australia
  • Sweep school well underway with 12 sweeps from 8 Clubs taking part in the program. Great support from our S3 sweeps Gary "Fazz" Fazzalari, Ben Bedford, Jason Mcgaffin, Hocko, Pete Tidswell, Pete Symonds and Ron Harwood.
  • Training is well underway for our competitive crews, with the odd few braving the cold and getting a hit out in the surf.
  • First Surf Boat Carnival Sun Nov 7th, mobile location to get the best of the conditions. This will be an all in Male/Female div only event to rank our open male/Female divs for the start of the season. Jnrs, Res & Opens will all race head to head in respective genders.
  • SBRT Tasmania AGM was held in late August. The new positions are listed above
  • Draft 4 Round Navy Event dates pencilled in. Locations for 2021/22 are Clifton Beach, Carlton Park, Penguin and Burnie
  • Crews from around the State preparing for the Marathon Series commencing in October with the Wynyard to Somerset marathon 14km
  • Sat 9th Oct Port Campbell are hosting a 10km Marathon on the Curdies River and then drinks at the famous Boggy Creek Hotel. All welcome (pending COVID)
  • Coaching and Sweeping Seminar at Port Fairy 23+24th Oct. Register with VSRL Secretary Rod Costa
  • COVID causing some major issues with councils approving carnivals for next summer. Draft Calendar currently circulated through VSRL channels
Western Australia
  • First boat panel meeting for the upcoming season was held Tuesday 23rd August at Floreat SLSC and Zoom. Stuart Clarke from Mullaloo SLSC to again chair the panel continuing his great leadership
  • Another sweep training morning was held on Sunday 29th August at Mullaloo Beach and the last Sweep Training Session in the winter series will be held this Sunday at Secret Harbour. Great conditions forecast with light winds, 1.6m swell and high tide
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