Stockton Beach near Newcastle played host to Australia's biggest surf boat carnival over the weekend of 10, 11 & 12 February, 2012, in fast and furious racing conditions. A record of 388 crews from as far as Western Australia and Tasmania competed for titles in the Navy Australian Surf Rowers League Australian Open.
Crews covered a distance of 400 metres, with round robin style racing ensuring that the best crews on the day represented their division in the finals.
Day one of racing saw a relatively nice morning quickly deteriorate after a cold front came through at around 2.30pm. The change in weather delayed racing considerably with minimal visibility after the front. A 30 to 40 knot north easterly wind and rough surf conditions challenged rowers and many crews took a pounding from the seas.
A thunderstorm delayed the start of competition on day two, however when the sun came out mid morning, a 5-10 knot southerly and gentle rolling surf made life easy for the rowers. The highlight of the day was the Trans Tasman Surf Rowers Challenge "Battle Of The Ditch" between Australia & New Zealand. The closely fought battle drew a huge crowd to Stockton Beach, with Australia winning the Open Women's race (represented by South Curl Curl) and New Zealand winning the Open Men's (represented by Piha).
The third day of the 2012 Navy Australian Open saw outstanding weather with a 5-10 knot south easterly and a gentle rolling surf making for tight racing.
"Today saw the semi finals and finals of the Series capping off what was an outstanding success for the Australian Surf Rowers League and Navy," said Bert Hunt President of the Navy ASRL.
"Three days of competition have proved Stockton Club was more than capable of supporting such a huge event," said CEO Hunter Branch SLSA Mrs Rhonda Scruton.
GALLERY: Highlights from the 2012 Navy ASRL Australian Open Surfboat carnival
Under 23 Women
Under 23 Men
About the NAVY ASRL Series
NAVY is the naming rights holder of the 2011-12 Australian Surf Rowers League Series. The 2011-12 NAVY Australian Surf Rowers League Series consists of 26 events around Australia from November 2011 to February 2012 and are held on some of the country's premier beaches.
The Australian Surf Rowers League was born in New South Wales in 1992 as the International League of Australian Surfboat Rowers Inc. (ILOR) and currently has over 3,000 members from over 260 clubs which make up over 450 crews competing nationally each year.
For information about a job in the NAVY, log on to defencejobs.gov.au or call 13 19 01
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