As most of you are aware, at our ASRL May Conference Dave Thompson SLSA made an offer for the Boat Rowers to be represented at a high level meeting to inspect possible venues for the Australian Titles to be held on the Gold Coast in 2013. This meeting took place last Friday 1st of June.
With clear direction from our national survey and recommendations from the May Conference Scott Tannahill and I attended the Meeting.
SLSA had invited a cross section of experts from various interests. Council Life Guards, managers, SLSA Officials, SLSA Sports Managers, ASRL and some of the most regarded athletes of our time. Names such as Shannon Eckstein, Grant Kenny, Darren Mercer, Phil Clayton, Mark Williams and Kristyl Smith brought so much grass roots passion and experience to the forum. It was great to listen to their input and see Dave Thompson and Rick Wright welcome their comments and questions.
The day began with a 2 hour meeting at Kurrawa where an open forum was conducted. Information was presented on the reason for change. Discussions on various issues and recommendations from the floor were noted. The ASRL were singled out to give the meeting an overview of the preferences of where we would like to see the boats operate. In accordance with our May Conference we explained the difficulties of achieving a fair course at North Kirra and that Tugun closely followed by North Burleigh would be our first choices. It was explained that Tugun was the first beach that straightened out north of North Kirra and provided the best opportunity to set two fair areas.
We went on to explain that North Kirra would be our preferred back up beach and with all surf options exhausted , Redcliffe would be our last option. For those of you not familiar with Redcliffe Beach, it's inside Morton Bay , approximately 90 minutes north of the Gold Coast. Redcliffe has hosted several Queensland events including State Championships Boat Events several years ago when they had to be relocated from the Sunshine Coast due to large surf conditions. It was reinforced and confirmed that Coomera Lake would not be an option.
From Kurrawa we hit the road and checked out Burleigh, Currumbin, Tugun, North Kirra, Kirra and Coolangatta. At each stop we discussed the various pros and cons of each beach and the surrounding infrastructure.
At Tugun we were afforded a good hearing, detailing the benefits of a long, straight beach and discussed the challenges of a traffic management plan. Club President Dave Mitchell was on hand to answer question calling on his local knowledge. Scott and I felt we received good support from all on the tour. Scott got it first hand when asked by a Tugun Club Legend, Ocka "what are you blokes doing here ?" as he answered , Ocka replied "well that's the bloody smartest idea you blokes have come up with in a long time , you know this is the best beach on the Gold Coast to hold a Surfboat Carnival"
Scott commented that the club was large and welcoming. Having met the club President and a couple of the old salts, there is no doubt that they could accommodate us, and were jumping out of their skins to do so. There is plenty of walking distance accommodation, shops and the airport is only 5 minutes away.
By days end it appeared that North Kirra was the preferred option for the other sections with Tugun some 3.3km north being the preferred option for boats. It was made very clear that this was by no way a final decision and that Gold Coast City Council, SLSA, and other approvals needed to be obtained.
The date of the titles is also under review with options to push back into April to be investigated. This is also in line with recommendations given by the ASRL to SLSA.
Dave Thompson indicated that time was of the essence and that a decision was required asap by SLSA for its members, it's expected That SLSA will make an announcement on the dates and venues for the Titles in the coming weeks.
On a personal level I took great pleasure in Scott and myself being introduced to the meeting as the ASRL. I thought of the track that has been laid down over many years by previous ASRL Committees to get us to arrive at the destination where we are at now. Our views are listened to and respected as authorities in our sport. To hear Grant Kenny singling out the ASRL as an example of how to organize yourself and make an impact on the future direction of your chosen discipline was great to hear. To listen to the iron men and women discuss issues they have, which we dealt with 10 years ago, was also interesting.
We have come a long way
Don Cotterill Vice President ASRL
There are 10 types of people in this world: those who understand binary and those who don't
A request from the Evans Head boaties. I see on ASRL website that Tugun is seriously being looked at as boat venue for 2013 aussies. Do you think you could post these photos on the forum just to get them excited about how challenging Tugun can be. These photos from Qld Cup – Aussie Bum series circa February 2010. And this sweep has a drawer full of aussie & Qld state gold medals (mostly masters) sweeping at Kurrawa!
it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees
I hope that 3.3km buffer is enough to set a precedence that the Aussie Titles no longer need to be held together with the arts'n'craft and egg'n'spooners, which will increase our preferred beach options for the Surf Boat Aussie Titles from here on in, INCLUDING venturing back to Kurrawa as an option.
Tugan is a good fair beach. A great decision made by ASRL LSA and others...