February 9 - 15, 2020: Issue 437


Team Navy ASRL Open 2020 Set for Mollymook

Newport Surf Club's Thunder Crew - NSW Rpresentatives - A J Guesdon photo, 2019

With brilliant support from Team Navy, Destination NSW, Shoalhaven City Council and the Mollymook SLSC, over 300 Surf Boat Crews are heading to Mollymook for the 2020 ASRL Open, February 14-16. Stated by many as the best Surf Boat Carnival in the world, the carnival should also bring some much needed cheer and a financial boost after a Summer of horrendous bushfires in and around the south coast.

Team Navy ASRL stated this week they are excited to bring economic benefit to the area and show Australia that the Shoalhaven area is back open for business. 

"We encourage everyone within our movement to come to the ASRL Open and provide their support to the locals with your attendance as the community desperately need the help."

Comprising the 2020 Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Test Series, the Northcliffe Krankits will make their second consecutive Australian Surf Boat Team as they once again don the green and gold to represent their country as Australia's Open Female crew. Shane Geloven’s Bulli Gold will be Open Male representatives. The U23 Female division will welcome back North Cronulla Funky’s to their second straight Australian Team run - 2020 will mark the fourth consecutive year North Cronulla has had a crew part of the U23 development program- while a father-son combination pulling on the green and gold with South Curl Curl’s U23 Male crew as Sam Lowery will be swept by father Rob, who made his Australian Surf Boat Team debut in 2018, as the male development crew for the 2020 Trans Tasman. The U23 Trans-Tasman Male Crew from: South Curl Curl are Brady Holland, Sam Lowery, Kris Martyn, Owen Sheather and Rob Lowery.

The U23 Female division Australian Trans-Tasman Team representatives just beat the Palm Beach Piranhas and Newport Thunder to secure their spot.

The ASRL Open also will also host the 2020 Interstates Competition, with five local club crews representing NSW once again this year. Pittwater Online spoke to Newport SLSC Sweep Michael King, who has grown up around surf boats through his dad's Bert Kings' and his own passion for the sport. In 2020 the Newport Thunder, the Gold Medal winning crew at the 2019 Aussies, will represent New South Wales in the Interstates Under 23 Female division.

"We're looking forward to the Interstates competition," Michael said this week, " and carrying that momentum through to the Aussies in April."

"Newport has made a concerted effort this season to increase our female rowers in surf boats and currently have two Under 23 Female crews and four female crews overall with the two Womens Open teams,  Newport SLSC Firefish and Newport SLSC Jacksons both competing in the ASRL Open this year. In fact, when women were officially allowed to participate in races 25 years ago, Newport had one of the teams competing in those first races."

The Newport Thunder crew of Meagan Barr, Abby Ballesty, Tara Doyle, Claudia Harris, and Michael King were Finalists in the 2019 NSW Awards of Excellence in the Surf Sports Team of the Year category,  dominated at the Collaroy Young Guns carnival on January 10th 2020, backed that up at Queenscliff on Saturday 18th January, and secured their sky blue cap, becoming the third Newport crew to represent NSW. 

The following day at Queenscliff,  the Thunder and Shellfish represented the Sydney Northern Beaches Branch in the Surfboat Interbranch Championships. Both crews contributed to SNB winning – the U23 Women also winning their division.

On Saturday 25th, at the other end of the beach at Manly, the Thunder won all their races in difficult conditions… Except the one that counted.  A sneaky last wave of the set hit hard and rolled the boat.  Undeterred, the team righted the boat and completed the course.

Newport's novice U23 Women crew had their first start with great persistence. Newport's U23 Men ‘White Tips’ had their best racing of the season, just missing out on the final. The Newport Shellfish were a very close third, a win would have put them in the mix for the NSW team. They too are heading south for the 2020 ASRL Open.

"Mollymook is a lovely spot to do this carnival and we're all looking forward to spending time and money there to help the local community begin to recover from what it has been through this bushfire season." Mr. King said.

"The ASRL Open is a favourite among all surf boat crews and clubs, and is a great chance to catch up with friends from far away and do our best for Team New South Wales." Michael said.

This year the Open Male and Female are both up on last year, up 7% combined, there has been a massive 47% increase in Under 23 Female crew, in fact, Female numbers are up over 10% across all categories.

The 2020 ASRL Open will be live streamed on all three days - so even if you cannot go south, you can cheer them on from here.


Friday 14 February
08:00 - 1730
Masters, Reserve Men, Reserve Women and Interstates

Saturday 15 February
08:00 - 16:00
Tran Tasman competition and remaining categories

Sunday 16 February
08:00 - 14:30
Finals day!

* All times are NSW, please check your local time. * Finishing times are approximate and may change. Streaming links will be made available 2 - 4 days before the event begins. 

Visit: Team Navy ASRL Facebook page.


AM - Masters rounds to finals
Late morning - Reserve Male and Reserve Female
Mid afternoon - Interstates

AM - Under 19 Male, Under 19 Female and Under 23 Female
Late morning - Open Male, Open Female and Under 23 Male
3 x rounds of Tran Tasman (AUS v NZ) throughout the day

All categories elimination and finals.

The 2020 Interstates Starting List

Under 19 Female
NSW - South Curl Curl Bumps + Humps
QLD - Noosa Beach Kookaburras
SA - Somerton Stormers
VIC - St Kilda Salamanders
WA - City of Perth City 5

Under 19 Male
NSW - North Cronulla Bung Holes
QLD - Northcliffe Thunder
SA - SA Thunder
VIC - Portland Cape Crusaders
WA - North Cottesloe Jackals

Under 23 Female
NSW - Newport Thunder
QLD - Tallebudgera Tubbies
SA - South Port Sun Devils
VIC - St Kilda Fun Size
WA - North Cottesloe Jills

Under 23 Male
NSW - North Cronulla Purds
QLD - Currumbin Krakens
SA - West Beach Indecentsea
VIC - Torquay Pirates
WA - North Cottesloe Yeah the Boys

Reserve Female
NSW - Elouera Wilko
QLD - Currumbin Concords
SA - Brighton Bombshells
VIC - Mordialloc Mayhem
WA - Scarborough Sunsets

Reserve Male
NSW - Palm Beach Pork Ribs
QLD - Maroochydore Bin Chickens
SA - Henley Mackdogs
VIC - Point Leo Persuaders
WA - North Cottesloe Cowards

Open Female
NSW - Palm Beach Patriots
QLD - Northcliffe Krankitz
SA - Brighton Broncos
VIC - Lorne Edge
WA - North Cottesloe Riffraff

Open Male
NSW - South Curl Curl Deathriders
QLD - Northcliffe Thunder
SA - Glenelg Fury
VIC - St Kilda Angry Otters
WA - North Cottesloe Boatmen

Team Navy ASRL Confirmed Crews: As Of Feb. 3rd, 2020   

(NB: 16 more crew have been confirmed since this list was made available;)

160 yrs min. Female Surf Boat
1 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach D Bs
2 Brighton SLSC (SA) Bombshells
3 Broulee Surfers SLSC Griffin Braves
4 Mentone LSC Martinis
5 Noosa Heads SLSC Bandits
6 North Cronulla SLSC Nth Cronulla Doriss

160 yrs min. Male Surf Boat
1 Altona LSC Tugboats
2 Brighton SLSC (SA) Expresidents
3 City of Perth SLSC City Black
4 Noosa Heads SLSC Team A
5 North Cronulla SLSC Nth Cronulla Purds
6 Stockton SLSC Stockton Dad Bods

180 yrs min. Female Surf Boat
1 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach Antiques
2 Batemans Bay SLSC Phoenix
3 Stockton SLSC Avalon Beach Antiques
4 Wanda SLSC Inc Kessels

180 yrs min. Male Surf Boat
1 Broulee Surfers SLSC Mixed Grill
2 Currumbin SLSC Spartans
3 Dicky Beach SLSC Flashbacks
4 Jan Juc SLSC Jan Juc Rams
5 Noosa Heads SLSC Macaws
6 Wanda SLSC Inc Blue
7 Warriewood SLSC Barbarians

200 yrs min. Female Surf Boat
1 Fairhaven SLSC Fairhaven Hot Catch
2 Mentone LSC Riot
3 South Maroubra SLSC SMOGS
4 Warriewood SLSC Rustys

200 yrs min. Male Surf Boat
1 Altona LSC Postmasters
2 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Coogee Masters
3 Dicky Beach SLSC Prime Beef
4 Gerringong SLSC Vbs
5 Maroochydore SLSC Force
6 Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club Inc. Mollymook Mongrels
7 Noosa Heads SLSC Emus
8 North Steyne SLSC Inc. Nth Styn Tigers
9 Port Fairy SLSC Port Fairy Shearwaters
10 Redhead SLSC Redhead A
11 South Port SLSC Inc (SA) Expendables
12 Tallebudgera SLSC Talle Cab Savs
13 Wanda SLSC Inc Blue
14 Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC The Rissoles

220 yrs min. Female Surf Boat
1 Cape Hawke SLSC (Inc) Pearls

220 yrs min. Male Surf Boat
1 Alexandra Headland SLSC Excuses
2 Currumbin SLSC Crocs
3 Noosa Heads SLSC Condors
4 North Cronulla SLSC Koros
5 St Kilda LSC Angry Dogs
6 Warriewood SLSC Crustys
7 Windang SLSC The Outcasts

240 yrs min. Male Surf Boat
1 Bulli SLSC Team A
2 Burnie SLSC Burnie Gold
3 Fairhaven SLSC Fairhaven Furphys
4 South Curl Curl SLSC White Bread

260 yrs min. Male Surf Boat
1 Coolangatta SLSC Magpies
2 Long Reef SLSC Inc Long Reef Vets

Open Female Surf Boat
1 Alexandra Headland SLSC Dusty Hill Wines
2 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Bch Open Women
3 Avoca Beach SLSC Zenith
4 Brighton SLSC (SA) Broncos
5 Broulee Surfers SLSC Wombats
6 Cape Hawke SLSC (Inc) Rough C's
7 Collaroy SLSC Giants
8 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Coogee Open Female
9 Elouera SLSC Elouera Wilko
10 Freshwater SLSC Freshie Dolphins
11 Kurrawa SLSC Kurrawa Kixx
12 Lorne SLSC Edge
13 MacMasters Beach SLSC Cazadores
14 Newport SLSC Firefish
15 Newport SLSC Jacksons
16 Noosa Heads SLSC Chums
17 North Cottesloe SLSC Riff Raff
18 North Cronulla SLSC Blueys Open Women
19 North Narrabeen SLSC Inc. North Narrabeen HasBeens
20 Northcliffe SLSC Krankitz
21 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Patriots
22 Somerton SLSC Allsorts
23 South Maroubra SLSC Bisley
24 St Kilda LSC Ladies Of St Kilda
25 Tallebudgera SLSC Talle Toucans
26 Torquay SLSC Lightning
27 Woolgoolga SLSC Whippets

Open Male Surf Boat
1 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach Pinkies
2 Avoca Beach SLSC Red Flags
3 Batemans Bay SLSC Team A
4 Bulli SLSC Team A
5 Caves Beach SLSC Caves MEAT TRAYS
6 Collaroy SLSC Garricks
7 Collaroy SLSC Big Mac
8 Collaroy SLSC Knights
9 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Coogee Open Mens
10 Corrimal SLSC Corrimal BLACK
11 Cronulla SLSC Jack Hammers
12 Currumbin SLSC Gunnars
13 Currumbin SLSC Vikings
14 Dee Why SLSC Gorgonites
15 Elouera SLSC Elouera Wilko
16 Glenelg SLSC Glenelg Fury
17 Henley SLSC Henley Mackdogs
18 Kurrawa SLSC Kurrawa Brown Snakes
19 Kurrawa SLSC Kurrawa Kings
20 Long Reef SLSC Inc Long Reef Apples
21 Lorne SLSC Chops
22 Newport SLSC Hellfish
23 North Cottesloe SLSC Boatmen
24 North Cronulla SLSC Purds A
25 North Cronulla SLSC Funkys A
26 North Narrabeen SLSC Inc. North Narrabeen Stalks
27 North Steyne SLSC Inc. Nth Styn Nomads
28 Northcliffe SLSC Thunder
29 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Projects
30 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Death Riders
31 St Kilda LSC Angry Otters
32 Torquay SLSC Pirates
33 Wanda SLSC Inc Red
34 Wanda SLSC Inc Weapons
35 Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC The Cassowaries

Reserve Female Surf Boat
1 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach Antiques
2 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach D Bs
3 Batemans Bay SLSC Phoenix
4 Brighton SLSC (SA) Bombshells
5 Broulee Surfers SLSC Griffin Braves
6 Bulli SLSC Team A
7 Collaroy SLSC Queen Bs
8 Currumbin SLSC Concords
9 Elouera SLSC Elouera Wilko's Refug
10 Elouera SLSC Elouera Power
11 Gerringong SLSC Oobs
12 Lorne SLSC Identity
13 Lorne SLSC Lions
14 MacMasters Beach SLSC Bouyonces
15 Mentone LSC Mentone Riot/Pt Leo
16 Mentone LSC Martinis
17 Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club Inc. Mollymook Mudcrabs
18 Mordialloc LSC Mayhem
19 Moruya SLSC Brew Crew
20 Newport SLSC Nudibranchs
21 Noosa Heads SLSC Wood Swallows
22 Noosa Heads SLSC Bandits
23 North Bondi SLSC North Bondi Naughties
24 North Cronulla SLSC Micks Reserve Women
25 North Cronulla SLSC Funkys Reserve Women
26 North Cronulla SLSC Jeffs Reserves Women
27 North Narrabeen SLSC Inc. North Narra Lean Beans
28 North Narrabeen SLSC Inc. North Narra Mighty Ducks
29 North Steyne SLSC Inc. Nth Styn Tiger Lilies
30 Ocean Beach SLSC Toilers
31 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Pumas
32 Port Campbell SLSC Ravens
33 Port Kembla SLSC Pelicans
34 Port Kembla SLSC Pork Chops
35 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Girlies
36 South Maroubra SLSC BAM
37 Tallebudgera SLSC Talle Taps
38 Tallebudgera SLSC Talle TNT's
39 Wanda SLSC Inc Kessels
40 Windang SLSC Windang Wenches

Reserve Male Surf Boat
1 Alexandra Headland SLSC Certifiers JDBA
2 Alexandra Headland SLSC H and H Air Con
3 Alexandra Headland SLSC 220 Excuses
4 Altona LSC Postmasters
5 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach J A T Z
6 Barwon Heads/13th Beach SLSC Special K
7 Batemans Bay SLSC Team A
8 Bilgola SLSC Bilgola Bends
9 Brighton SLSC (SA) Expresidents
10 Broulee Surfers SLSC Mixed Grill
11 Caves Beach SLSC Caves CREAM PIES
12 City of Perth SLSC City Black
13 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Team A
14 Coolum Beach SLSC Coolum Runnings
15 Cronulla SLSC Cronulla B
16 Currumbin SLSC Spartans
17 Currumbin SLSC Pillagers
18 Dicky Beach SLSC Prime Beef
19 Dicky Beach SLSC Flashbacks
20 Elouera SLSC Elouera Greatmen
21 Elouera SLSC Elouera Blue
22 Freshwater SLSC Freshie Dons
23 Gerringong SLSC Team A
24 Jan Juc SLSC Jan Juc Rams
25 Lorne SLSC Team A
26 MacMasters Beach SLSC Fat Dads
27 Maroochydore SLSC Bin Chickens
28 Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club Inc. Team A
29 Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club Inc. Team B
30 Moruya SLSC Clowns
31 Newport SLSC Shellfish
32 Noosa Heads SLSC Macaws
33 North Bondi SLSC North Bondi Knock Abouts
34 North Cottesloe SLSC Cowards
35 North Cronulla SLSC Purds Reserves
36 North Cronulla SLSC Grissles
37 North Cronulla SLSC Mitch and the Big Hitters
38 North Cronulla SLSC Patsy Reserves
39 North Narrabeen SLSC Inc. North Narrabeen Smokos
40 North Steyne SLSC Inc. Nth Styn Buccaneers
41 Ocean Beach SLSC Sailfish
42 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Pork Ribs
43 Point Leo SLSC Persuaders
44 Port Kembla SLSC Party Pies
45 Port Kembla SLSC Cutters
46 Port Kembla SLSC Basic Beaches
47 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Echidnas
48 South Maroubra SLSC South Maroubra Rookies
49 South Port SLSC Inc (SA) Expendables
50 Wanda SLSC Inc Red
51 Wanda SLSC Inc Blue
52 Warriewood SLSC Whale Riders
53 Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC The 4 Strokes
54 Windang SLSC Windang Bindangs

U 19 Female
1 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach Boofheads
2 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach Alpacas
3 Avoca Beach SLSC She Wolfs
4 Avoca Beach SLSC Vagabonds
5 City of Perth SLSC City Five
6 Collaroy SLSC Beastmode
7 Collaroy SLSC Loonies
8 Collaroy SLSC Chargers
9 Coolum Beach SLSC Coolum Coastbuster
10 Dicky Beach SLSC Dandelions
11 Glenelg SLSC Glenelg Furettes
12 Long Reef SLSC Inc Long Reef Sharlies
13 MacMasters Beach SLSC Karlie's Angels
14 Mona Vale SLSC Mona Vale Drifters
15 Noosa Heads SLSC Spangled Drongos
16 Noosa Heads SLSC Kookaburras
17 North Cronulla SLSC Bofs 19 Women
18 Somerton SLSC Stormers
19 South Curl Curl SLSC Sth Curly Bumps and Humps
20 South Maroubra SLSC South Maroubra Specials
21 South Port SLSC Inc (SA) Stormies
22 St Kilda LSC Salamanders
23 Tallebudgera SLSC Talle Tornadoes
24 Torquay SLSC Jets
25 Torquay SLSC Honeybadgers
26 Wanda SLSC Inc Wiggas

U19 Male Surf Boat
1 Avalon Beach SLSC Avalon Beach Hueys
2 Bulli SLSC Team A
3 Collaroy SLSC Bruisers
4 Collaroy SLSC Stitches
5 Currumbin SLSC Meerkats
6 Dicky Beach SLSC Gerbils
7 Freshwater SLSC Freshie Fighters
8 Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC Westfund
9 MacMasters Beach SLSC Whippets
10 Maroochydore SLSC Force
11 Mona Vale SLSC Mona Vale Fluffy Ducks
12 Moruya SLSC Bradcocks
13 Noosa Heads SLSC Peacocks
14 North Cottesloe SLSC The Jackals
15 North Cronulla SLSC Bung Holes
16 North Cronulla SLSC Brooks Juniors
17 Northcliffe SLSC Tornadoes
18 Ocean Beach SLSC Hooligans
19 Port Campbell SLSC Piranhas
20 Portland SLSC Cape Crusaders
21 Redhead SLSC Chilli Coconuts
22 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Underdogs
23 Swansea Belmont SLSC Team A
24 Torquay SLSC Storm
25 Torquay SLSC Buoyos
26 Wanda SLSC Inc Sandbags
27 Wanda SLSC Inc Chuppdoggs

U23 Female Surf Boat
1 Avoca Beach SLSC Martini's
2 Collaroy SLSC Silly Salmon
3 Collaroy SLSC Bluto's Angels
4 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Coogee U23 Women
5 Coolum Beach SLSC Coolum Crushers
6 Dicky Beach SLSC Tooshies
7 Freshwater SLSC Freshie Twocans
8 Kurrawa SLSC Kurrawa Kooks
9 Lorne SLSC Elrichies
10 MacMasters Beach SLSC Martinis
11 Maroubra SLSC Sealettes
12 Mona Vale SLSC Mona Vale La La Ladies
13 Newport SLSC Thunder
14 Noosa Heads SLSC Scrub Turkeys
15 North Cottesloe SLSC The Jills
16 North Cronulla SLSC Bofs 23 Women
17 North Cronulla SLSC Funkys 23 Women
18 North Narrabeen SLSC Inc. North Narra King Prawns
19 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Peaches
20 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Piranhas
21 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Spice
22 South Maroubra SLSC Team A
23 South Port SLSC Inc (SA) Sun Devils
24 St Kilda LSC Fun Size
25 Tallebudgera SLSC Talle Tubbies
26 Wanda SLSC Inc Red
27 Warriewood SLSC Wedgies
28 Wauchope Bonny Hills SLSC The Boatettes

U23 Male Surf Boat
1 Alexandra Headland SLSC H and H Air Con
2 Alexandra Headland SLSC Certifiers JDBA
3 Avoca Beach SLSC Wolfpack
4 Collaroy SLSC SOBs
5 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Sons
6 Coogee SLSC (NSW) Crows
7 Cronulla SLSC Vision Blasters
8 Currumbin SLSC Krackens
9 Elouera SLSC Elouera Silverbacks
10 Elouera SLSC Elouera
11 Freshwater SLSC Freshie Strokers
12 Lorne SLSC Clippings
13 MacMasters Beach SLSC UFCs
14 Maroochydore SLSC Meat Trays
15 Mollymook Surf Life Saving Club Inc. Mollymook Spunks
16 Mona Vale SLSC Mona Vale Stinky Bandaids
17 Newport SLSC White tips
18 North Bondi SLSC North Bondi Sandy Holes
19 North Cottesloe SLSC Yeah The Boys
20 North Cronulla SLSC Purds Colts
21 North Cronulla SLSC Young Guns
22 North Cronulla SLSC Jeffs Colts
23 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Peppers
24 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Playboys
25 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Plumbers
26 Palm Beach SLSC (NSW) Palm Beach Possums
27 Redhead SLSC Rough Nuts
28 Somerton SLSC Chip Scabs
29 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Sneaky Nuts
30 South Curl Curl SLSC South Curly Lamp
31 Stockton SLSC Stockton Cal & Sons
32 Torquay SLSC Pirates
33 Wanda SLSC Inc Blue
34 Warriewood SLSC Anchors
35 West Beach SLSC InDecentSea

About the Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL)

In the early 1990’s, a group of committed surfboat sweeps was very concerned that surfboats were being left out of the SLSA competition promotional picture. During the 80’s, SLSA with the help of Kelloggs, had heavily promoted the Ironmen into a televised series of events. In the early 90’s, the Uncle Tobys company decided to challenge the dominance of the Kellogg’s Ironman Series with the introduction of a competing Uncle Toby’s Series, which was also going to be televised. Uncle Tobys made approaches and wanted to include Surfboats, but this was being blocked by SLSA.

In 1993, some of the surfboat crews were approached directly by Uncle Tobys to compete in the Uncle Tobys’ series alongside a group of Ironmen who had agreed to switch across to the new Uncle Tobys’ series of events. The Ironmen along with Beachies had been sanctioned by SLSA to compete in the Uncle Tobys’ series, but the surfboats were not sanctioned by SLSA to also race.

Frustrated by the denial of opportunity and a general feeling of surfboats being ignored by SLSA, it was decided by the surfboat crews to form a body then called the International League of Rowers (ILOR) that was Chaired by Keven (Bluey) Meyers of the Freshwater surf club.

Unfortunately, after much discussion and meetings between the ILOR and SLSA, SLSA continued to refuse to sanction the ILOR to allow surfboats to be a part of the new Uncle Tobys’ series.

This denial only heightened the frustration at continually being blocked from the right to race and promote Surfboat racing by SLSA, crews involved in the ILOR made the decision to accept the invitation to race as part of the Uncle Tobys’ series without SLSA sanction. Eventually, under the weight of competitor pressure as more and more crews became aware of what was happening and fell in behind the push for a “fair go” from SLSA, eventually both SLSA and SLSNSW withdrew their objections against the surfboat crews.

The Uncle Tobys’ series, including surfboats, continued to race for four seasons and so the ASRL was formed to represent all rowers in providing a more level playing field for surfboats.  

Birth of the ASRL

Very early in the process, as more boat crews swung their support behind the start-up ILOR group, it was decided to formalise their activity as well as make a name change and the inaugural ASRL President was Ron Payne in 1994-1995, followed by;

Ron Kelly 1996-1997

Peter ‘Grub’ Grant 1997-2001

Rick Miller 2001-2005

Bob Stone 2005 - 2006

Bert Hunt 2006-2018

Michael Brooks 2018 to present.

In 1997 the ASRL introduced an event simply called the “Open” which has been conducted each year since, growing to equal and then outgrow crew entry numbers at SLSA Australian Championship events.

Years & Locations of ASRL Open Events

  • 1997 Terrigal
  • 1998 Dee Why
  • 1999 Ocean Beach
  • 2000 Ocean Grove
  • 2001 Fingal Bay
  • 2002 Scarboro
  • 2003 Lorne
  • 2004 South Port
  • 2005 Wollongong
  • 2006 Bilgola/Newport
  • 2007 Lorne
  • 2008 Stockton
  • 2009 Broulee
  • 2010 Wollongong
  • 2011 Stockton
  • 2012 Stockton
  • 2013 Stockton
  • 2014 Shellharbour
  • 2015 Shellharbour
  • 2016 Shellharbour
  • 2017 Elouera
  • 2018 Elouera
  • 2019 Mollymook
  • 2020 Mollymook

The first ASRL Interstate Challenge was held at South Port in 2004 and continued to be run at the ASRL Open until the mid-2000s when the ASRL organised for the Challenge event to become the full blown SLSA Australian Interstate for surfboats, which included every division of racing.

ASRL - what is the role we play

The ASRL is not a union, but rather a body of focused, passionate competitors and lifesavers. We are unencumbered by the full body of lifesaving issues that both SLSA and the States have to deal with so we can solely focus on our part of the sport being surfboats. We are a stand-alone body with no constitutional ties to any of the State based rowing groups, so don’t carry the restrictions of a federated system.

Our Mission Statement has unashamedly been about the sport and member development, improvement and increased participation of surfboats.

The ASRL has driven new initiatives and change in conjunction with SLSA and Others

Introduced Gate Cans as a safety improvement in the late 90/2000. Introduced Round Robin racing in the 90/2000. Introduced U23 male and then U23 female racing. Worked with SLSA and the States to include all 6 and now 8 crew divisions into the Interstate event. Pushed a SLSA Policy change to allow members the flexibility to patrol at other beaches. Removed the automatic DQ on rollover rule. Developed and formalised with SLSA the Surf Boat Committee, bringing the ASRL into the SLSA tent, thus giving rowers a seat at the decision table. Introduced the Boat Panel concept. Introduced the Course Manager concept.  Introduced and developed the Trans-Tasman Test series and negotiated with SLSA and SLSNZ to take ownership. Developed and supplied, at a heavily subsidised cost, Floatation Vests to 550 boat crews nationally for a trial that was to be the forerunner of PPE. Instigated the discussion with the Board of SLSA in 2011 & 12 that eventually gained other support for the National Review of Sport, which was finally completed and introduced in 2017. Introduced modern computer driven Draw Systems developed in house by the ASRL. The original driver for SLSA to become involved in the Gary McCoy developed Surf Hazard Rating system. Developed and introduced Phone App to display Draws and Results for competitors. Developed and introduced the Phone App for the Surf Hazard Rating. Successfully brought balance to the SLSA Board on the introduction of Helmet Policy, against a strong user caution that threatened to derail the sport. Instrumental in developing the new user-friendly Sweep Accreditation policy. Researched and developed the introduction of Video Camera Finish Line Technology. Introduced the use of Live Stream for major surfboat events. Drove the debate to see full gender equality introduced into surfboats now with 4 divisions of Female & Male crews. Trialled, then was instrumental in introducing Short Course racing as an SLSA Australian Medal event. Strong contributor into SLSA Policy decisions.

The ASRL through its sponsors has delivered literally millions of dollars directly back into the surfboat arena across a wide range of agendas.

Warriewood SLSC and Avalon Beach SLSC both have strong representation crews at this years' ASRL Open across most Divisions.