Surf Rowing League final clash for the year

Published on LCDR Don Hogarth (author and photographer)

Location(s): Stockton, Newcastle, NSW

Topic(s): Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL)

A surf boat in action at Surfers Paradise during the Navy's Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) in 2013. (photo: LCDR Donald Hogarth)
A surf boat in action at Surfers Paradise during the Navy's Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) in 2013.

This weekend the Navy Australian Surf Rowers League (Navy ASRL) will culminate in an action packed weekend at the 2014 Navy Australian Open, to be held at Stockton, Newcastle.

This is the third time the event has been hosted by Stockton Surf Life Saving Club, and the racing will be fast and furious. A race distance of 400 metres, with wet starts and finishes, will mean intense racing with extremely tight finishes.

The Navy ASRL season consists of 25 events at some of the country’s premier beaches and crews will be competing for individual glory to cap off a successful season of racing.

Over 300 crews from 100 surf life saving clubs across Australia will gather to battle it out for medals in the Open Men, Open Women, Reserve Men, Under 23 Men, Under 23 Women, Under 19 Men and Masters divisions.

Also up for grabs is the title of the ‘best state in Australia’ in the Navy National Interstate Surf Boat Championship when state representative crews across all divisions will race each other.

And in a three race test match series, Australia will take on the best New Zealand has to offer in the Open Men and Open Women divisions.

Navy’s naming rights of the ASRL means that 25 high quality events can be held on some of the country’s premier beaches to garner support from the local community.

By nurturing the sport, Navy provides the ASRL with the necessary resources to assist them in recruiting life savers. The more lifesavers in the water, the more lives saved.

Like the Navy secures Australian waters, the ASRL protects the shores of every state and territory around the country.

The Navy Australian Open is expected to bring over 3500 rowers, officials, friends, family and supporters to the Newcastle area and will deliver significant benefits to Newcastle’s visitor economy. Located two hours’ drive north of Sydney, Newcastle is the gateway to the stunning NSW north coast, famous for its beaches.

Tim Owen, Member for Newcastle, said the NSW Government, through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is proud to support the Navy Australian Open, a key regional sporting event on the 2014 NSW Events Calendar.

“NSW is the birthplace of The Australian Surf Rowers League, which was established in the early 1990s. This makes NSW a fitting location for the Navy Australian Open, and it promises to be yet another great event in 2014 for Newcastle,” Mr Owen said.