When one thinks about surfing, an image of a surfboard and a wetsuit immediately springs to mind, perhaps with the addition of a sail for windsurfing or a kite for kite surfing. All essentially individual wave riding sports. Now take a 180kg fibre-glass Surfboat with four rowers and a "Sweep" or Steersman standing at the stern and then takeoff on a wave. The ultimate example of team surfing and a massive adrenalin rush for the crew.
Australia, home of so many water sports, is the birth place of Surfboat racing, evolving within the Surf Lifesaving Clubs in Sydney. Indeed the image of the bronzed "Ozzies" rowing out through pumping surf has become one of their National icons. The first Surfboat was built in 1913 for the Manly Surf Life Saving Club as a means to rescue drifting bathers. By 1920 Surfboat competition had developed to such an extent that it was included as an event in the Australian Life Saving Titles. The Surfboat design specifications were formally drawn up in 1955 and although new construction methods have been introduced, the dimensions of the modern Surfboats have changed little since then.
The U.K. Surfboat Scene
In 1965 the Surfboat was introduced to the UK when the Australian surf club, Palm Beach SLSC, presented Atlantic College in South Wales with the “Cabbage Tree II”. This early boat from Australia was followed by several more in the 1970’s and soon Surf Boat racing in the U.K. was born.
The U.K. League was set up in 1999 and formally adopted the UKSRLconstitution in 2003.. Crews from Bude, Tolcarne, Perranporth, Porthtowan and Portreath (all from Cornwall) got together and organised their own races to supplement those of the Surf Life-Saving Association of G.B. This proved to be a great success and crews enjoyed the fact that they were able to race a number of times in quick succession, rather than waiting around all weekend for 1 race, as was often the case with Association events. The UKSRL affiliated to British Rowing the national governing body for rowing in 2005
The UKSRL organises and runs The Summer Surfboat Series and the UK Open Surfboat Championships. In 2007 the UKSRL helped form the European Surf Rowing Federation ESRF and now there is an annual European Championships for mens and womens crew to aim for. The sport still has so much more potential, as more people become involved in rowing Surfboats; competitors, clubs and spectators are beginning to realize this is unique rowing sport
UKSRL Life Members
2016 - 2017 Committee
|Development Officer||Dan Berriman|
|Publicity Officer||Tom Hannah|
|Competition Officer||Chris Lane / Mike Lord|
|Committe Support Officer||Jo Lloyd King|
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