September 17 - October 7, 2023: Issue 599


Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse's Is A Community Hub: 24 Hour Row 2023 Success - Festival Of Froth - New IRB, A Film, Music, Sustainability, Bangalley Bar Over Just One Weekend 

24 Hour Row 2023

The 2023 24Hour Row went off over the weekend of September 9-10 with more than 65 teams, including 37 surf clubs across Australia, taking part. The Founders, Mel and Nathan Wellings of Avalon Beach SLSC, were on hand at the Avalon Beach SLSC Clubhouse over the whole 24 hour period with a range of supporting visitors including the Trbojevic brothers popping in for the start, the Manly Sea Eagles mascot Igor here to cheer the team on and Mackellar MP Dr. Sophie Scamps taking a turn at rowing.

Nathan Wellings and surfboat crewmate Matt Mayall rowed 50km each over the 24 hours; a little challenge they'd set, while Todd and Zach, who annually take on the 2am forward shifts, rowed 13 and a half k and 40 k for Zach and were still at the club cheering on the others at the finish - legends!

rowing 40k in the am - Zac (left, looking a tad weary) and Todd

Nathan Wellings and Matt Mayall - 50 k each

Mel Wellings and Gus Worland - Gus went from one club to another over the course of 24 Hour Row, cheering everyone on - 50 k walked, at least!

Manly Sea Eagles' Mascot Igor at Avalon Beach with his No. 1 Fan

Along the coast Palm Beach SLSC, Mona Vale SLSC had teams rowing, Barrenjoey High School had a crew going, while across Australia clubs, gyms, schools and individuals were also 'going the distance' for mental health, and generous Gotcha4Life major partner Shaw and Partners Financial Services offered to double all donations in that 9am to 12pm home straight slot, upping the ante.

The great part about the 24 Hour Row is Gotcha4Life's core element credo is funds raised by these teams are actually then spent in their communities funding programs for the community. 

Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation with a goal of zero suicides, taking action by delivering mental fitness programs that engage, educate and empower local communities. Their programs create meaningful mateship, build emotional muscle, and strengthen social connection in local communities. Gotcha4Life focus on early intervention and the power of prevention through connection because they know we are all stronger, together. 

Gotcha4Life founder Gus Worland said afterwards, ''We want to thank everyone who came together and took part, this event isn't just about all our incredible supporters raising money to help us build a mentally fit community (although that part is amazing). This event brings communities together and gets people talking about mental fitness. Luke said reflecting back on last year's event "The 24-hour row was the catalyst of so many positive discussions around mental health at our club.''

The donations window is being left open until the end of this week. You can put back into your community by finding your local team at:

Festival of Froth

Over the same weekend the Festival of Froth was held at Avalon Beach with some of the best bodysurfers of the northern beaches and Australia participating in the first Sydney-based International Bodysurfing Association (IBSA) world championship qualifiers alongside the inaugural Northern Beaches Bodysurfing inc competition. This was a fun spirited inclusive event with those on the beach amazed at what was happening on the Saturday in the water. 

Spectators witnessed Bodysurfing Spin, a 360 spin or pirouette, Bodysurfing Reverse Spin where you are rolling “up” the face of the wave, the Bodysurfing Dolphin, where you are riding the wave with your body fully submerged in the water, and Bodysurfing on your back. 

Advanced tricks include Tube riding, which is getting inside the barrel of the wave, Cutbacks, where in you get out as far as possible onto the shoulder of the wave without falling off the back of it and cut back into the power section of the water, and El Rollo; defined as a pin executed off the lip of a wave leading to air time.

It gets more complicated and difficult - there's the Bodysurfing Frontflip and Bodysurfing 360 Belly Spin - with points allocated for all these 'tricks' along with wave choice and execution of your ride. 

On Saturday evening a buffet and the IBSA winners’ presentation was held in the Ocean Room of the clubhouse, overlooking glorious Avalon Beach. 

The Festival of Froth had two divisions:

  1. A fun, family friendly competition for all ages (Juniors, Womens and Mens)
  2. A qualifying event for the Inaugural International Bodysurfing Association (IBSA) World Titles, held early next year in Hawaii

The name of the inaugural local Festival of Forth stems from the sheer exhilaration and pure joy bodysurfers get from being a part of the flowing wave, described as  the 'sheer froth of bodysurfing'.

With the Volunteer Patrol Season commencing Saturday September 23 2023 it's already 'all systems go' at this local surf club.



Spring School Holidays Boating Safety: Please Log On - Log Off

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Barrell at the Marine Rescue Broken Bay Commissioning of their new Base building at Bayview

After three consecutive months of record rescues, Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have responded their lowest number of incidents this year, completing 223 rescue missions across the state in August.

Marine Rescue NSW Commissioner Alex Barrell said the reduction in rescue responses during August is testament to boaters doing the right thing on the state’s waterways.

“The best result would be to have zero rescues but from the August statistics it is clear that boaters across NSW have been planning their voyage, checking the weather, ensuring their vessel is maintained and that they are carrying the appropriate safety equipment.” Commissioner Barrell said last week

“It’s wonderful to see that our safe boating messages are being received and acted on.

“With the boating season commencing at the start of October we hope this behaviour continues.

“Marine Rescue NSW is expecting a bumper season on the back of record numbers of boaters enjoying our beautiful state’s waterways.” 

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers safely returned 449 people to shore from the 223 rescue missions in August.

10 MAYDAY calls were received last month including a call to the Marine Rescue Sydney State Communications Centre after a sea kayaker hit rocks at the mouth of Malabar Cove off Long Bay.

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers managed 19,412 radio calls in August while 5,955 boaters Logged On with Marine Rescue NSW.

Greater Sydney was the busiest region in the state with 75 rescue missions while volunteers on the Hunter Central Coast responded to 70 incidents.

The Mid North Coast was the only region to see an increase in rescues from July, up from 22 to 34 last month while 22 rescues were completed in the Illawarra, 15 in the Northern Rivers and seven in the Monaro region.

As Pittwater heads into the Spring School Holidays it's worth remembering the volunteers of the Broken Bay Unit of Marine Rescue, which number close to 100 now, will be on duty on the waters of the Pittwater estuary and Broken Bay.

Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga and Deputy Unit Commander Marine Rescue Broken Bay Andrew Majewski have asked that all those going boating over the October long weekend, the school holidays or across the boating season log on and log off so they can track you. 

Deputy Unit Commander Marine Rescue Broken Bay Andrew Majewski and Unit Commander Jimmy Arteaga 

Other tips for keeping it all about enjoying our glorious waterways are to do a maintenance check prior to going out to prevent problems occurring. Simple things like checking your battery and that you have fresh fuel, that has not been contaminated, and enough to meet your needs will keep the focus on the fun.

Life jackets are required, so please make sure yours are fit-for-use and that you have one for each person on board.

‘’ If you have a question, please ask us, ‘’ we’re here to help.’’ Jimmy said. ‘’And if you see us out on the water, wave ‘hi’.’’ 

Log On/ Log Off

Log On & Off with Marine Rescue. It’s quick, simple and free. Log On whenever you’re heading out on the water and Log Off when you return. We’ll stand watch. If you don’t Log Off as planned, our volunteers will start searching for you.

Download from the Apple store    Download from the Google play store

To Log On, call your Marine Rescue NSW base on VHF Channel 16 or use the free MarineRescue App. You can download the App at the App Store for Apple devices or Google Play for Androids.

You can always Log On, whether you’re out for a morning’s fishing, a day trip around your local area or cruising along the coastline. And it doesn’t matter if you’re on a tinnie, a cruiser, a yacht, a kayak, a canoe or a jet ski.

When you Log On via, our radio operator will ask you for some basic information about your vessel, your destination and contacts.

You’ll enter the same details on your smartphone or other device if you’re using the MarineRescue app. If you don’t Log Off, this information will help us find you, whether you’ve simply forgotten to Log Off when you returned to shore or you’re caught in an emergency and need help fast.

Tell us:

  • Your boat registration number
  • Where you’re leaving from
  • Where you’re heading
  • What time you plan to return
  • The number of people on board
  • Your mobile phone number

If the fish are biting and you decide to stay out longer, simply call the base on VHF Ch 16 or use the MarineRescue App to update your arrival time.

Remember to Log Off when you’re back on shore. If you haven’t let us know you’re back safely, we’ll start to look for you. We’ll try calling you first up, just in case you’ve forgotten to Log Off and headed home with your catch. That’s the best outcome. If we get no answer, we’ll step up the response.

Full safety checklist available HERE


Louis Tilly 2023 Youth Sailor Of The Year For NSW/ACT - Lisa Darmanin Wins Sports Promotion Award: Local Women Named Female Sailor Of The Year For 5th Year In A Row

Jervis and Louis Tilly, Will Troop at the November 2022 NSW WASZP and Wingfoil Slalom Championships, hosted by PBSC and RPAYC. Photo: A J GUesdon

Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club athlete Louis Tilly was named  Youth Sailor of the Year at the 2023 NSW/ACT Sailing Awards announced on Saturday 16th September at the Cruising  Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA).

''The past 12 months have seen Louis gain many first and second places at State, National and International levels in the WASZP as well as representing the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) in Match Racing. Louis has instigated and instructed at several “Try a WASZP” days at the RPAYC. This has been one of the reasons behind the strong growth in the Class on Pittwater. 

At SailGP Inspire in Sydney, not only did he come first on the water, he formed a team that won the media award through their efforts promoting the event and WASZP class on social media.'' Australian Sailing NSW/ACT said in making the announcement

Lisa Darmanin - Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club, PBSC and RPAYC - was announced as the winner the Sports Promotion Award for the 2023 NSW/ ACT Sailing Awards. 

''Through SailGP broadcasts and SailGP Social Media, and her detailed Technical Tours on social media, Lisa is making an impact projecting a strong, authoritative female Australian voice to an International Audience. Lisa’s unique experience as an Olympic Nacra 17 Sailor together with her polished presenting skills has enabled her to bring an insight into the technicalities of high-performance foiling to a new generation of fans.'' 

Lisa presenting for SailGP. Photo: SailGP

Jervis Tilly - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club - was also a finalist for the Sport Promotion Award. Jervis is the current President of the Australian WASZP Association. 

Middle Harbor Yacht Club's Zoe Thomson won Female Sailor of the Year Award for the 2023 NSW/ ACT Sailing Awards.

Zoe has achieved highly competitive results in European ILCA regattas over the last year. She is an outstanding human in and out of sailing. She gives back to the community and shows sportsmanship and excellence when she is competing overseas representing Australia.

Zoe's win is the fifth year in a row local women have taken out the Female Sailor of the year award; Nina Curtis won in 2022, Lisa Darmanin in 2021 and 2020 and Annie Wilmot & Natasha Bryant both won in 2019.

Congratulations to Tom Slingsby for winning the Male Sailor of the Year Award for the 2023 NSW/ ACT Sailing Awards! 

Tom Slingsby led Australia to an unprecedented three-peat in Season 3 of SailGP when they won the Grand Final in San Francisco. No other team has won a SailGP series thanks to Tom's leadership of the Australian team who have become ruthless competitors under the pressure of the winner-takes-all Grand Final. His team won 4 of the 11 regattas throughout the season.

This is the third year in a row Tom has taken out the Male Sailor of the Year Award. 


Avalon Beach Historical Society Celebrates 40 Years

Three original members: Geoff Searl OAM (President of ABHS), Gwen Lansbury, Nickolas Manfield. Photo: Brian Friend OAM

On Tuesday September 12 2023, in the Annexe in Dunbar Park, 51 visitors and members of the Avalon Beach Historical Society were welcomed by President Geoff Searl to celebrations for 40 years of the Society. 

18 locals were present in the upstairs dining room of the Avalon Beach RSL Club on 14 September 1983 to give birth to the Society and there were 3 members present at Tuesday’s meeting who were there on that night – Gwen Lansbury, Nick Manfield and Geoff.


Council Works To Open Narrabeen Lagoon Entrance Again: An Expense Recurring More Frequently

Narrabeen Lagoon entrance on September 14, 2023. Photo; Joe Mills

Council announced on Tuesday, 12 September 2023 work to clear Narrabeen Lagoon entrance to reduce the risk of flooding to local homes and businesses.

''Council contractors will excavate more than 20,000 cubic metres (40,000 tonnes) of sand – equivalent to the weight of 100 jumbo jets – to the east and west of Ocean Street Bridge.'' it was stated

The sand is to be deposited at Collaroy-Narrabeen Beach between Goodwin and Stuart Streets.

Works were expected to start in the coming weeks, although the above photo shows they were commenced immediately, and will be completed by the summer school holidays. 

''To get the job done before the busy summer months, up to 200 truckloads of sand will be carted each day.

To ensure public safety, Birdwood Dune car park will be closed during this time and there will be parking and pedestrian access restrictions during work hours at Mactier and Wetherill Streets.''  Council's statement reads

Northern Beaches Mayor Sue Heins said the works are part of Council’s Narrabeen Lagoon Entrance Management Strategy and based on flood risk management studies.

“Narrabeen Lagoon is one of our greatest natural waterways but as locals know all too well, it is prone to flooding,” Mayor Heins said.

“Council has a strategy to manage the lagoon entrance to minimise the risk of flooding, backed by research and analysis by coastal experts. 

“It includes more frequent sand clearance operations, as well as reshaping and revegetating sand dunes to assist with sand stabilisation.

“We appreciate that these works may be an inconvenience in the short term, but they are necessary to protect our community from flooding in the medium to long term.”

The project is partly grant funded under the NSW Government Floodplain Management Program.

Council announced on Friday October 9 2021 they were getting works done to open the entrance of Narrabeen to let the water flow as there is rain forecast for every day this coming week. 

Narrabeen Lagoon Entrance on Friday October 8, 2021 - Panorama by Kevin Murray.

''Every 3-4 years we do a major excavation of sand from the entrance of the lagoon to help reduce flood risk and increase tidal flow. The excavator is moving in to start this work today.'' Council's statement said

Repairs to the abutments of Ocean Street Bridge were also to be done simultaneously to minimise disruption to the community.

The works were to take about 12 weeks to complete (weather dependent) with the entrance reopened in time for the Summer holidays.  These works are generally timed to avoid the disruption from the winter storm season but to reopen in time for the peak swimming season.

''These major sand clearances are conducted periodically as swell and tides gradually push more and more sand into the lagoon. Council completed the last Narrabeen Lagoon entrance clearance in 2018 and has had to undertake more frequent mechanical openings in recent months as the sand has built up.

Works will be conducted using amphibious excavators to pump the excess sand through flexible pipes to a central stockpile location next to Birdwood carpark. From there it will be trucked down to Mactier Street where a bulldozer will spread it along Collaroy-Narrabeen beach.

Once the major excavation is complete, the lagoon is expected to remain open for a number of years, although as always, we are at the mercy of mother nature as to how long.'' Council stated

In July 2016 clearing the entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon was undertaken again. Almost 50,000 cubic metres of sand was shifted and used, once again, to replenish Collaroy–Narrabeen Beach which suffered devastating erosion in the June East Coast low.

In July 2016, weeks after the councils had been forcibly amalgamated and in response to the June 2016 storm, the NSW Coalition government installed administrator Dick Persson outlined a Draft Coastal Erosion Policy for Collaroy that resulted in the December 2016 Coastal Zone Management Plan for Collaroy-Narrabeen Beach and Fishermans Beach being formalised under the same administration.

That Administrators Minute stated:

I am advised that the initial estimates for 1.1km of works from The Marquesas to 1096 Pittwater Road has been estimated at approximately $22 million. While Council will work with the State Government to meet the cost of directly protecting public assets in this area (approximately $5.5 million), I will also ask the State Government to join Council in providing up to 10% each towards the cost of private protection as a contribution subject to a positive cost benefit analysis for these public assets. Early estimates suggest this contribution could be approximately. This contribution has been estimated at approximately $3.3 million ($1.65 million from State and $1.65 million from Council) and is in recognition of the public asset protection that is provided by these private properties.
A recent report by the Sydney Coastal Council’s Group identified that to combat the impact of sea level rise in the Collaroy-Narrabeen embayment significant volumes of sand will be required as these impacts are felt. For example, it is predicted that some 1.3 million cubic metres of sand (approximately 4 times the amount removed during the June storms) will be required for the first 10 year nourishment effort, and around 420,000 cubic metres for each following 10 year campaign.

In 2009 dollars this will cost around $30 million for the first 10 year nourishment, and around $12 million for each following 10 year campaign
These costs are based on the assumption that sand nourishment will be undertaken across large areas of the NSW coast and the costs shared accordingly. 
Works on this scale are simply unaffordable for Northern Beaches Council on its own, and the responsibility for delivery of offshore sands must be shared with benefitting Councils and also with State and Federal Government. The State Government is obviously best placed to co-ordinate and manage such an undertaking, and I will write to the Premier to request that the State provides a long-term sand replenishment strategy for NSW that addresses the many issues I have raised, and amends the Offshore Minerals Act (1999) to enable effective medium and long term beach amenity to be preserved. 

At the time there was an outcry in Pittwater that residents here would be footing the bill for Warringah Council's plans for the Collaroy beachfront and ongoing sand nourishment, some even stating this was one of the primary reasons for the forced amalgamation. 

The above costings from 2016 estimate the 'sand nourishment' is $1.2 million every year, if only one per years is undertaken, equates to around $45.50 per person in the LGA per year, or $273 per year for a family with four children. The Northern Beaches Council area Estimated Resident Population for 2022 is 263,298, with a population density of 1,035 persons per square km.

In May 2022 Council sought feedback on the draft Narrabeen Lagoon Entrance Management Strategy - Council's comprehensive investigation of all aspects of entrance management, including sand transport, flood benefits and entrance efficiency and dynamics.

It includes an assessment of potential entrance management options looking at technical feasibility and economic, social and environmental impacts and risks. The assessment was informed by a literature review of best practice, modelling, and a detailed cost benefit analysis by a quantity surveyor, and was peer-reviewed during its preparation.  

Following the extensive assessment and analysis the draft Strategy recommends that Council:

  • continue periodic large scale sand clearance operations
  • trial more frequent sand clearances but with smaller volumes, in targeted areas
  • continue intermittent mechanical breakouts if the lagoon entrance closes between major clearances and in response to forecast high rain and swells 
  • revegetate and maintain Birdwood Park dune to assist sand stabilisation
  • review mobile sand pumping (as an alternative to trucking) if lower cost pricing becomes available.

Then Mayor Michael Regan said the main objective of the draft strategy is to reduce the risk of flooding on the Narrabeen Lagoon floodplain.


Spring In Pittwater 

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