Surf Boat Rowing is the fastest growing sector in the Sport of Surf Life Saving in New Zealand. Most aspects of Surf Boat competitions are controlled by Surf Life Saving New Zealand. There are set rules and criteria making the sport enjoyable and safe for all competitors.
This sport involves four people rowing a boat out into the surf directed by a ‘Sweep’ who steers the boat from a platform at the back of the Surf Boat using a long sweep oar. Racing starts from the beach with the crew leaping into their boat and rowing 300 to 400 metres to a buoy out at sea. Once the buoy is reached the sweep directs the boat and the crew around the buoy so the boat is turned. The crew then row as hard and as fast as possible to get the boat back to the beach. The trick is to catch a wave on the homeward journey and overtake all the other boats. The race finishes as one crew member gets out of the boat and runs up the beach to the finish line. The event takes a crew approx. 6 to 8 minutes to complete the race depending on the fitness and skill level of the crew and sweep...see this video below:
The Surf Boat competition is currently divided into Under 19, Under 23, Open, and Masters events for each sex (men and women). There are local carnivals here in Taranaki, Regional Carnivals around the country which lead up to the most prestigious event, the National Championship at the end of each summer.
East End is a well serviced club. It has excellent equipment and coaches to enable the sport to expand and succeed. If you would like to experience this exhilarating sport as a sweep or an oars man/ woman or you would just like to know more about the sport drop by the club.