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ASRL President's Update - Jan 2021

Happy New Year to all!

Time to reflect on the year past and look forward to what is turning into another complicated year ahead nationally.

2020 will be remember for many things but as surfboat rowers there are some standouts.

New Year’s Day 2020 was a horrific day with raging bushfires seeing the cancellation of the George Bass Surfboat Marathon (GBSM) only two days into the event and who can forget the photos posted of the day turning to night at Bermagui as Boaties turned into bushfire volunteers to assist where they could. It fills me with pride when I heard how the Mollymook SLSC opened the doors to a few stranded GBSM crews due to bushfire road closures. The crews from Muriwai (NZ), Noosa, Mooloolaba and Henley couldn’t speak highly enough of the hospitality shown to them by the Mollymook club, what a great movement we are a part of.
The ASRL Team Navy Open was well attended although surf and weather challenged us. Whilst we did a very effective shift to Long Beach we regretted not getting the Interstate done and once again a lesson learned and changes have been made to ensure this won’t happen again. Congratulations must go out to Mollymook for hosting the Open and we know from past history that returning to the same venue makes for an even better run event the following year.

It was in around March that COVID started to bite and only NSW got their State Titles complete with other states forced to cancel. This then lead onto the season’s biggest disappointment of the cancellation of the Australian Titles. I think of those last year 19’s and 23’s missing out on the opportunity of success on our biggest stage.

It was the strangest of off seasons, especially for me in my home state of Queensland not being able to drag the boat out of the shed and go and have fun catching those clean winter swells.

This season we are now living the new normal. Six months ago I knew nothing of a COVID Safe Plan, COVID Marshalls and the whole uncertainty that COVID has bought to us in trying to organise carnivals.

By now you would have received notice of the ASRL looking to secure an alternate plan B date for the 2021 Open (click here for ASRL statement). We are keeping a close eye on the situation and will keep you informed as new information comes to hand. Obviously we are still hoping to run the event as originally planned.

We have cemented our relationship with Team Navy and Destination NSW and they have been great to work with during these difficult times.

Our relationship with SLSA is a strong one and it’s reassuring that at any stage I can pick the phone up and talk directly to the right people, I’d also like to thank Charles Melloy our National Referee for always making himself available to any concerns we may have and also asking for our input regarding scheduling options. We are continuing to discuss all things boats, and I know there is much talk about what the rest of this season will bring and I have been discussing the National Titles with SLSA.

We are very close to releasing our upgraded ASRL App and you will hear a lot more about this as we get closer, it’s designed to simplify what we do and one of the additions will be the Surf Hazard Rating. This will allow you to quickly complete and record conditions at every training session you do in the surf. It’s so very important that we keep this system relevant and in full use which will keep us training and competing in surf.

In closing I’d like to give a massive shout out to our very own Tamara Brawn who this year received the honour of SLSA Official of the Year. It’s evident to anyone who has attended the ASRL Team Navy Open over the last four years of just how professional and competent Tamara is as Referee. What you don’t see is the hours Tamara puts in behind the scene. She is a member of the ASRL Carnival Organising Committee and planning starts for the next Open the minute the doors shut on the pack up of the gear trailer of the last Open. Such a well deserved honour and we are lucky to have her amongst our ranks, the Open wouldn’t be the Open without Tamara.

Thanks for getting to the bottom of this newsletter and if you have any queries please contact myself or your local ASRL rep.

Don Cotterill- QLD
Edwina Wright - QLD
Grant Wilkinson - NSW
Nick Sampson - NSW
Rod Costa - VIC
Natasha Tunney - SA
Geoff Wilson – WA

Michael Brooks
ASRL President

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