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November 12, 2009
By Graham Davis
LIFESAVERS patrol the beaches.
The Navy patrols the oceans.
But on October 24 the two impor-
tant services came together in Brisbane
to formally launch the 2009/10 Navy
Australian Surf Rowers League
Between now and February when
the finals will be held on City Beach,
Wollongong, around 2500 men and
women rowers -- they are also vol-
unteer lifesavers -- will compete in a
series of competitions in all states of
Each state will conduct four compe-
tition days in which the top six teams
in each state will be decided.
Up to 440 rowing teams (five per
surfboat) will participate in six cat-
egories including senior male rowers,
female rowers, reserve team and jun-
iors.The official launch was held on the
beach at Brisbane's South Bank and
attracted a large crowd of onlookers.
The Northcliffe Surf Lifesaving
Club brought along its surfboat,
resplendent in its silver livery and
The Queensland detachment of
the RAN Band, led by CPO Andrew
Stapleton, was in attendance along
with a large group from Defence Force
Recruiting and NHQ-SQ.
Recruiters handed out showbags
and brochures and later reported much
interest from the public.
Head of Navy People and
Reputation, CDRE David Letts offi-
Navy and surf rowers
join forces in QLD
cially launched the series, now in its
"Last year a lot of Navy's peo-
ple were part of the ASRL events on
beaches around Australia and were
able to promote the benefits of a Navy
career and lifestyle," he said.
"There's no doubt the sport's
high profile summer image as a true
Australian icon gives us the opportu-
nity to display and promote Navy, in
particular the strong association with
young, fit and healthy Australians in
boats on the water providing a valu-
able community service.
"The rowing discipline commands
a high level of fitness, commitment,
skill and teamwork; the very same
values the men and women of the
RAN strive to emulate in everything
He said the Navy ASRL competi-
tion would provide a valuable vehi-
cle to promote the Navy lifestyle to
potential recruits, emphasising the
importance Navy placed on a healthy
lifestyle and the positive values each
Navy member espoused.
THE TEAM WORKS: Kurrawa Surf Life Saving Club Team Navy mem-
bers (L-R) Emily Leiner, Genevieve Bassingthwaighte and Marianne
Bassingthwaigthe with CDRE David Letts and CMDR Geoff Fiedler at
the launch of the Navy Surf Rowers League series.
Photo: ACW Kylie Gibson
By LEUT Kerry Martin
THE Maritime Communications
and Information Systems Wing
were again victorious in this year's
Defence Force School of Signals
(DFSS) swimming carnival.
Held at HMAS Cerberus (CAPT
Sheldon Williams) on October 16, the
competition between the Services was,
as always, fiercely contested, with the
Maritime Wing proving its dominance
over the unit HQ and the Land/Air,
Technical Training and Support Wings
by winning the carnival for the third
time in row.
This feat maintains the Maritime
Wing as the only wing to have won
this event since its inception.
Maritime Wing efforts were sig-
nificantly bolstered this year by the
supremacy of the female swimmers.
SMN*CIS Tiffany Grace was the
stand out performer of the day win-
ning all of the three individual events
in which she was entered -- the 50m
butterfly, 100m backstroke and 200m
SMN*CIS Kristy Clark, a recent-
ly-transferred Gap Year sailor, was
also a welcome addition to the team,
winning both of the individual events
in which she was entered -- the 50m
and 200m freestyle.
ABCIS Jessica Chugg, who is at
Cerberus completing the Tier Two
Intermediate Course, also made an
impact through her success in the
100m freestyle and coming second in
the 50m breaststroke.
Under high expectations the three
competitors combined with SMN*CIS
Adelaide Lord for the female 50m
medley relay and again they did not
A win was achieved by another
of the initial employment trainees,
SMN*CIS Joshua Kennedy, in the
200m freestyle event.
These wins, supported by consist-
ent placings in all other events by the
members of the 26-strong Maritime
Wing team, saw victory wrestled from
the Technical Training Wing.
The support provided by DFSS'
400+ spectators not only added great
atmosphere to the carnival, but proved
that teamwork and inter-Service rival-
ry are alive and well in the ADF.
New sailors blitz their
competition in the pool
STAND OUT: SMN*CIS
Tiffany Grace flies home
during the 50m butterfly.
Photo: LEUT Kerry Martin
THEN write for us!
Navy News is based
in Canberra, with limited
capacity to travel around
the country covering the
many sporting events that
happen each week on ships
and shore establishments.
We are looking for
preferably one from each
ship and base, to become
regular sports writers for
You don't need to be
Shakespeare -- but it would
help if you can write short,
sharp, to-the-point copy
and have the confidence to
interview sailors and offic-
ers of all ranks.
If you can take a decent
photo that would also help;
but it's not essential.
If you are inter-
ested, please send a
couple of examples of
your work to alisha.
We'll provide support
and guidance, and handle
the clearance process at
All you need to do
is attend the event, chat
to people and write up a
small story suitable for
publication in Navy News.
-- Alisha Welch
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