Two crews are set to put on the black vests of New Zealand this weekend to represent the Kiwis at one of the major Surf Boat Rowing competitions of the season.
Stockton Surf Club in New South Wales will be the site of the Australia Surf Rowers League (ASRL) Open from February 7-9.
Each year, Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Surf Life Saving Australia select an open men's and open women's surf boat crew to represent each country respectively. The test series location is rotated between Australia and New Zealand each year. New Zealand will be the hosts in 2015.
The Titahi Bay men's crew earned the right to represent New Zealand for the ASRL Open after dominating the selection series at the second round of the NZ Surf Boat Series in Whangamata on January 2. The crew of Nick Boyd, Jordan Te Paa, Dean Ellis, Jono Boyd and sweep Wil McDowell won a tight final over arch-rivals Piha.
On Saturday, the crews will take on Australia in the black vests of New Zealand and on Sunday, both crews have been invited to represent their clubs.
New Zealand Team Manager Clayton Kellett says he's expecting some close competition from rivals Australia. "The Australians set the standard when it comes to surf sports and surf boat racing is no different. When racing against the Australians, in Australia, things jump up a few notches and there is no doubt the racing will be at a level that these crews don't race in every day," he says.
But Mr Kellett says he's confident they've selected the best crews they can to represent New Zealand. "We plan on walking onto the beach as a tight, united team and have a real good crack at the Australians on their home turf," he says.
Keep an eye out here on our website over the weekend for the results.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823