They might be a bit wet behind the ears compared to their more seasoned rivals, but the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park women's surf boat crew won't be shy in this weekend's Australian Open at Newcastle.
This time last year the Helensburgh-Stanwell Park crew captured the Australian Open under-23 women's title.
But they graduated to the open ranks in 2012-13 and have performed consistently well throughout the season.
Among their achievements was a second placing at the World Championships in November and third placing in the hotly contested Ocean Thunder Series.
They are also second in the Warilla Bowls series and within striking distance of the title.
The crew consists of Stephanie Barlow, Georgia Leach, Courtney Overell, Brooke Dent and sweep Mark Lea.
"They've stepped up to opens from under-23s and they're holding their own," Lea said.
"The top six or seven crews around Australia are pretty much on par with each other and we've got a healthy respect for those other crews, and we know when we're rowing our best we can certainly match it with them."
Helensburgh-Stanwell Park's main threats are Bilgola, Elouera and Tugun.
"There's a quiet confidence in our own ability. We're definitely hoping to make the final and then see what happens from there," Lea said.
"Last year the girls had a big season, winning the Australian Open and the Australian title in the same season.
"It's a big step up to go from the under-23s into the opens and so far they've been meeting the challenges.
"They've responded well to the training. We're pushing them hard and asking more and more of them. They're putting in the hard yards and that's why they've been getting some good results."
Thirty-eight crews will represent the Illawarra region in nine divisions.
One of those with high hopes is the Corrimal under-19 men's crew.
"We've been a bit up and down this season, but we're pretty confident we've turned a bit of a corner over the last couple of weeks," Corrimal sweep Peter Scott said.
"We've been working on a few things and hopefully it'll transfer into some improved boat speed this weekend.
"I think the forecast is for pretty flat conditions, and we'd probably prefer a bit more of a bump on. If it was anything like last year, it was like a lake."
The Australian Open got under way yesterday with the reserve men's and under 23 men's divisions, while the open men, open women and under-19 divisions will be held today.
Finals are scheduled for tomorrow.