Surf boat racing is one of the most spectacular events in surf life saving competition. Each surfboat is crewed by four rowers and steered by a sweep. Crews compete head to head, rowing from the beach through the surf into open water where they turn a set of buoys and race back to the beach. As the surfboat nears the shore the aim is to catch a wave whilst the sweep steers the boat to keep it upright and on the face of the wave. The sport is not for the faint hearted and attracts the bravest and most fearless of lifesavers.
The surf boat was designed to enter the ocean from the beach in heavy surf or severe waves. Originally, they were used in lifesaving or rescue missions where the most expedient access to victims was directly from the beach. Although the surf boat is no longer used as a lifesaving craft, thousands of lifeguards in both New Zealand and Australia uphold the tradition and compete at surf boat events each year.
Red Beach Surf Club has a proud history in surf boat competition, with success at a local, regional, national and world level. The surf boat crews are an integral part of Red Beach’s lifesaving and competition teams and we have witnessed a highly enthusiastic level of interest in surf boat rowing for many years.
Our surf boat competitors race in the age categories available – Under 19, Under 23, Open and Masters in both male and female divisions.
This season, our crews aim to compete at all local carnivals, the NZ Surf Boat Championships (a 4-event series), the regional championships which take in the ERCs and the NRCs plus the NZ Championships which take place at Gisborne’s Midway Beach in March 2018.
The surf boat section is always looking for keen rowers. If you want to be part of the surf boat competition team and the lifesaving community, please contact one of the following …
Without the generous support of our sponsors the boat section would not have the calibre of equipment it has to compete at the highest level. The boat section would like to thank the following sponsors for their assistance: