New Zealand Surf Boat Crew Makes History Across the Tasman

Tuesday, 20 February 2024

The New Zealand U23 Female Crew has made history across the Tasman at the Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL).


The crew, also known as the Piha Piranhas from Auckland’s west coast, won the U23 Female division, becoming the first female New Zealand team to ever win an ASRL gold medal.


Held at Lorne Beach in Victoria, Australia, from 15 - 18 February, the ASRL is the biggest stand-alone surf boat event in Australasia, involving around 300 surf boat crews and 80 clubs.


The ASRL Open Finals were held on the last day of racing and with just an offshore breeze and not much swell on offer, it came down to rowing ability and skill.


The Piha Piranhas, made up of Molly Brittenden, Natalya Mackenzie, Tobi Oldham, Tyler Lovett, and Tom Jacka (sweep) raced ahead straight away.  They then executed a strong turn before putting their foot down on the way home, pulling off a convincing win.


Tyler Lovett said, “It was bloody exhilarating!  We’re so stoked with how much we’ve been training and the preparation we’ve put in, and just knowing that it paid off.  We’re so happy!”


The Piha Piranhas became the first New Zealand female crew to win gold at an ASRL.  The Piha Senior A Men’s crew won the ASRL Open Men’s division in 2013.


Tanya Hamilton, SLSNZ High Performance Sport Manager, said, “We’re so proud of the crew.  They’ve put in a lot of hard work over the years and have always been strong contenders against our fiercest rivals, the Aussies.  Their win was truly inspiring and will undoubtedly encourage other females to get involved in the sport.”


Northcliffe Lightning came in second place, and Palm Beach Pina Coladas came in third.


To watch the event, click here and start watching from 5:30:00