THE 2018 Australian Surf Rowers League (ASRL) national selection trials will be held in Lorne this weekend.
The Victorian Surf Rowers League (VSRL) is presenting the event on Saturday December 1 in partnership with Life Saving Victoria (LSV).
One of the organisers of the trials, Frank Veltman, said there would be about 250 competitors from 40 to 50 crews, who would compete in Open Men’s and Women’s and in U23 Men’s and Women’s events.
“It’s very exciting for the region because this event is normally held in Queensland or New South Wales. 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 LSV Carnival at Ocean Grove on November 11, 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,” Veltman said.
“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 said tourists stopping in Lorne would see something they won’t normally see, and the trials would be a big attraction over the weekend.
On Sunday, December 2, a second event will be hosted by the VSRL for their state selection trials.
All Victorian clubs will be competing, as well as crews from interstate.