There is something uniquely Australian about seeing a surfboat, laden with brave crew, rising out of the water to battle huge breakers. It is a sight that will become far more familiar at Ocean Beach as the Denmark Surf Life Saving Club has just taken delivery of its first surf boat in several decades.
The second-hand 8 metre, composite-construction boat, worth many thousands of dollars, was donated by city-based Cottesloe Surf Life Saving Club who were keen to encourage the growth and continuation of the sport of surfboat racing.
Surfboats originated in the early 1900s to help lifesavers rescue swimmers and were regularly used in competitions. But the introduction of the light and nifty Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) in the 1980s has meant these boat-giants have become less common and used purely for racing.
While the Denmark Club has had a few surfboats over it’s 60 years of operation, this will be the first time it has had a boat, and dedicated teams to row, it since the late 1970s.
Cottesloe generously donated the boat and trailer. We’re very grateful, especially to Cott member Gavin Pascoe and to our own Charlie Thornton who put a call out to Perth Clubs for help. Scarboro SLSC have now donated a set of oars and these are worth a few thousand dollars, second hand!