Coogee has long been one of the most successful SLSA Clubs when it comes to surf boat rowing and has a long and proud history of success with numerous Gold, Silver and Bronze medals won at Branch, State and Australian Championship levels throughout the years. The first surf boat carnivals were held way back in the 1920’s in old timber whaler boats and have evolved now into the sleek, fibreglass types that crews compete in today.
Surf boat racing is one of the most spectacular events in Surf Life Saving competitions. Each surfboat is manned by four rowers and is steered by a sweep. Crews compete head to head racing from the beach, rowing through the surf into open water, turning at a designated set of turning buoys or cans and then back to the beach. After rounding the cans, the crews race back to the beach each keeping in their lane or alley. As the surfboat nears the beach the aim is to catch a wave and surf to shore whilst the sweep steers the boat to keep it upright and on the face of the wave.
Coogee fields crews in virtually all 9 divisions/categories of surf boat racing – these being Open Male and Female division, Reserve Grade Male and Female, U23 Male and Female, U19 Male and Female as well as various Masters divisions in both Male and Female age groups.
For season 2022/23 – Coogee are the reigning Branch Champions in the Women’s Masters, Women’s Reserve Grade and Women’s U19 divisions – and came 2nd in the Sydney Branch Boat Champion Club point score. .
There are more boat carnivals than any other competitive discipline with around 15 carnival’s a year available to Coogee crews to row in. First carnival’s start in mid October at the Sydney Branch Surf Boat series Stillwater event and go right through to the National Championships held in April – which will be held in QLD for the next 9 years.
Crews training is a mix of gym work and boat work – with crews also doing some road running and row on the Clubs 4 ergometers, or rowing machine. We have a top class gym which our crews train in and boat work evolves from long, technique based sessions on sliding seats in the winter to gradually working on short, sharp race distance sprint work with numerous surf skill sessions (starts, turns and wave catching) in between. Coogee have a reputation as being one of the hardest training Clubs in the SLSA, but we know how to make it fun at the same time – when one crew has a win the whole area has a win!
The Boat Area welcomes members from all age ranges to come and have a go at surf boat racing – we have some of the best qualified sweeps in Australia and welcome anyone who would like to have a crack at surf boat rowing and then hopefully evolve into being part of a committed, successful Crew.