Oar Blacks face annual Trans-Tasman battle

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

New Zealand's representative surf boat teams face their annual battle with the Aussies this coming weekend for the Trans-Tasman Challenge.

Incorporated into a full weekend of Surf Boat action as part of the Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) Open, the New Zealand teams known as the Oar Blacks, will race at Sydney's Elouera Beach on Saturday.

The test is a three race challenge for Open Men and Open Women's national teams made up of two long course events and one short course event.

The Open Men's team from Red Beach is made up of Jed Wright, Chris Carew, Hayden Smith, Shamus O'Halloran. Craig Dillon will replace Shane O'Halloran as sweep who has had to withdraw due to illness.

The Open Women's team from Muriwai includes Nicole Owen, Kathryn Wright, Jaime Gunderson, Alison Craigie and Ricky Butt as sweep.

The Oar Blacks will be accompanied by two New Zealand Development crews who will race against the Open crews in the three race series, along with the Australian's development crews.

The women's crew from Orewa includes Alexandra Murden, Tyler McDowall, Kayla Fuemana, Sylvie Mitchell and Stuart Handford (Sweep) with the men's crew from Titahi Bay including Fraser McLaren, Darryn Stapleton, Adam Stella, Jonathan Henry and Wil McDowell (sweep).

The Trans-Tasman Challenge is hosted by Australia and New Zealand on alternating years. Last year, hosts Kiwis were defeated by the Aussies at Waihi Beach.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager Mike Lord says the Trans-Tasman Challenge is something our surf boat crews look forward to each year.

"We always enjoy the friendly rivalry between the Aussies who repeatedly put up some tough competition. We know it won't be easy racing, especially racing away from home, but we have four strong crews who I know will give it their all and make us proud this weekend," he says.

The test against Australia will be live streamed on the Team Navy ASRL Facebook page on Saturday 17 February from 9am NSW time. (11am NZ time).

Open Men
Australia - South Curl Curl verses New Zealand

Open Women
Australia - Elouera verses New Zealand

Under 23 Men (Development Team)
Australia - North Cronulla verses New Zealand

Under 23 Women (Development Team)
Australia - Avalon Beach verses New Zealand

To learn more about the event, click here.


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 0276 488 823
Email or