SURF LIFESAVING: For Matt McLennan there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of coming down a wave in a surfboat.
The Minnie Water Wooli surfboat program coordinator has made good friends through rowing, travelled to lots of places he hadn't seen and joined a great culture of people in the area. And he's hoping to find more people to join the fun.
The club received a Federal Government grant to buy a new surfboat, and the hope is to continue to add to their membership.
"We've had a 200% increase in our numbers through the boat program, and by expanding it and getting better quality boats, we can increase it even more,” surf club secretary Ali Derrick said.
With the increase in members, it is hoped to retain and create more patrolling numbers for the surf club.
"Most of our crews are in the junior programs. We have under 21 and under 19 rowers, and we're looking to retain those guys, and give them an incentive to come to increase our patrolling numbers,” Derrick said.
McLennan said the club didn't have a large contingent of people in ironman activities, so the junior rowing program came as a way of retaining members who had finished nippers at 14, and retaining them in the club.
"Now, once they're out of nippers they can join a team sport, give them confidence, and give them an activity rather than dropping out of lifesaving,” McLennan said.
The club trains mostly on the Clarence River at Grafton, but also conducts as many sessions as it can in the surf at Minnie Water, and competes in the North Coast boat series.