In a coup for Victoria, the 2018 ASRL National Selection Trials will be held in Lorne on the 1st December, thanks to the Victorian Surf Rowers League (VSRL) in partnership with LSV.
“There will be around 250+ competitors from 40-50 crews, competing in Open Men’s or Women’s, and U23 Men’s or Women’s events – it’s very exciting for the region because this event is normally held in Queensland or New South Wales,” says Frank Veltman, who is one of the event organisers. “The weather looks good and we’re just hoping for some surf!”
The event will see competitors angling to qualify for the 2019 Trans-Tasman Surf Boat series in New Zealand. Victoria will also be well-represented in the Open Women’s by Lorne Edge, who placed second in the 2018 Aussies, and Torquay Lightning, who were finalists in the 2018 Aussies. In the U23 Men’s, Torquay Pirates are the ones to watch, having come second in the 2018 Aussies.
At the recent LSV Carnival at Ocean Grove on November 11th, the Open Men’s crews from Lorne and St Kilda, as well as the Open Women’s crews from Lorne and Torquay, battled it out in preparation for the national selection trials.
“LSV has helped to pull us all together and show the other states how well VSRL and ASRL can work together with each other on an event,” says Frank. “We’re all one and we all do what we have to on the beach, but some of us choose to compete. I know if I was stuck in big surf, I’d be happy if a surf boat rower came to my rescue because they’ve been pounded by the surf enough to know what they’re doing – competing is active training and a great way to keep your fitness up.”
He says that for tourists stopping in Lorne, they’ll see something they won’t normally see, and it will be a big attraction over the weekend. But, even those out of town or country can watch it live streamed from all over the world.
Coming from Perth, Frank says his friends don’t believe him when he says there are good beaches in Victoria, only knowing of the bay beaches such as St Kilda. When they see the surf boat races on the livestream from places such as Lorne or Anglesea, he says they are amazed.
“Showcasing our beautiful beaches through the surf sports events is a bonus,” says Frank. “There will be around 600 people heading to Lorne over the weekend and that’s great for the local economy, as well.”
On the Sunday, a second event will be hosted by the VSRL for their state selection trials. All the Victorian clubs will be competing, as well as the crews from interstate, who are welcome to participate.
“To represent Australia is one of the big things for these crews and it’s highlighting that the sport is strong and part of surf lifesaving,” says Frank. “It’s a great tradition with the old surf boats – a long tradition – and we’re hoping to maintain that tradition forever.”
To see more surf sport events, visit the LSV sports calendar.