Box Jellies Spotted Near Sydney

It was a long way from the warm waters of Casuarina Beach for a Darwin surfboat crew competing at the NSW Surf Life Saving Championships at Ocean Beach-Umina last weekend.

The Open Women’s crew confused more than a few of the competitors and spectators, sporting club caps surprisingly similar to the local Avoca Beach SLSC, whose borrowed boat they competed in at the event.

The aptly-named ‘Box Jellies’ crew and their sweep Paul Hardy said that while the near-flat surf conditions were similar to their home beach, they were very happy not to have to contend with crocodiles!

“I’m relatively new to Darwin and I get a bit scared of the crocs when we train early morning or at night,” said Ellie Wrain.

Two of the girls are completely new to surfboat rowing while the others have rowed before in other states.

“We have been training since October and had the NSW Championships as our goal,” said Ellie. “One of the girls is from Newcastle and has links with Avoca Beach, which is why we’re here. The Avoca team have taken us under their wing and even loaned us a boat. It’s great to have a big support crew here cheering us on.”

While the sport of surfboat rowing may not be big in the NT, the club is opening its doors to potential new surf lifesavers who want to have a go.

“There are a bunch of old guys who have been rowing for a while and they are really happy to have us on board and we’re trying to spread the word and get a few more people interested,” said Ellie.

Darwin SLSC currently has three boats, usually picked up from clubs in the southern states and the crews have chipped in to have them brought to Darwin and readied for action.

The Box Jellies put in a solid performance at the NSW Championships, racing against some of the best surfboat crews in the country.

Pic: Darwin Box Jellies – Sweep Paul Hardy, Anna Foster, Alex Henley, Chloe Fox, Belinda Smith, Ellie Wrain

Tue 15 Mar 2016