Coffs Harbour surf boat rowers win gold on the national stage

The Australian Championship gold medal team of Marty Jervic, Adam Rees, Scott Edwards, Simon O’Rorke and Matt Heron.

THE 2024 Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships in April was the most successful campaign in the history of Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club (CHSLSC) surf boat rowers.

Rachel Smyth, the Events Coordinator at CHSLSC, shared how the national event unfolded.

“The 200’s Masters crew the ‘Trainwrecks’ kicked off our campaign with an outstanding performance in some challenging surf conditions,” she said.

“The crew comprising of sweep Scotty Edwards and rowers Matt Heron, Simon O’Rorke, Adam Rees and Martyn Jevric improved across each round to win gold in the final; our first Aussie gold medal in the history of surfboats in our club.”

Strong performances continued across the week for the surf club, with all crews making it to the quarter finals stage.

“Our Open male crew the ‘Swackers’ finished the championships in the top eight, narrowly missing out on the final. “This crew has much potential with this year being their first season rowing together.

“The boys turned some heads amongst the best crews in Australia, matching speed and surf skills to be true contenders.

“Our Reserve male crew the ‘Devon Sangas’ have been short a rower for the bulk of the season.

“They managed to get a quality substitute to fill in for the championships, having their first row together the day before competition – better late than never!

“The boys gelled quickly and managed a top twelve placing; an unfortunate end as they didn’t have a fair start being put under a wave.

“Despite the disappointment, the result is still incredible considering the lack of time and training together.

“Next season the aim is to find that elusive bowman to gain some consistency, which should transfer into top eight placing and finals appearances.”

The female crew continued the success with a number of standout results against national competition.

“The Under 19 female crew, the ‘Fruitloops’, have been in good form placing third at the state championships in March.

“The girls displayed maturity beyond their years with convincing racing in the rounds.

“They managed a top sixteen finish, a result that doesn’t reflect their rowing or skill.

“Unfortunately, despite leading each race, the alley drawn determined the outcome throughout the day.

“This rang true in the quarter final, leading the entire race with no wave assistance, and being pipped on the finish line with a disappointing fourth place.

“The girls were in form but some days just don’t go your way.

“That’s surfboats,” Smyth said.

The Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships were the final event of the season but the rowers won’t be resting on their laurels as they strive for continual improvement with an eye already to the future.

“The club now moves forward to next season with much excitement.

“Our aim is to build on the success of this season and grow our boat club by developing some new crews.

“New rowers are most welcome, anyone interested in rowing contact the surf club at”


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