Austinmer heads impressive talent in Navy open

SURFBOATS

Illawarra crews will be heavily represented when the Navy Australian Open hits the water at Stockton today.

Austinmer, Corrimal, North Wollongong, Wollongong City, Fairy Meadow, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park, Windang, Port Kembla and Coledale all have crews competing in the country's biggest surfboat event.

Austinmer are expected to be among the contenders for overall honours with the women's open and under-23 crews in good form heading into the event.

The open women's crew will fly the state flag in the National Interstate Surf Boat Championship as a reward for consistent performances over the four rounds of the state series.

Sweep Jack Pattison, who's been battling illness in the lead-up to the event, said his crew is confident of a strong performance.

"The women are the NSW crew," Pattison said.

"That exempts them from the round robin stage so they'll go straight through the knockout stage.

"They're pretty consistent, they've got seconds all through the series so they should go well."

Pattison said the club was rich in female rowing talent with the under-23 women expected to feature heavily on finals day.

"It's usually been mostly the men but everything seems to have been falling into place for the women this year," he said.

"The U23 women have won everything they've been in so far this year - they're the defending NSW champions and got third at Aussies [Australian titles] last year."

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