Austinmer's powerhouse season on the water has netted an unexpected prize, with club surf boats coach Jack Pattison named NSW Surf Sports coach of the year on Friday.
The award came on the back of a stellar season for the club that saw the open women's crew represent NSW in the prestigious Australian Surf Rower's League and the open men claim gold at last year's Australian titles.
They were highlights in the club's best-ever season that saw them win the overall pointscore at the Australian Championships. But a humble Pattison was quick to defer credit to his crews.
"I wouldn't put it down to me. It's pretty easy when these people are willing to do all the work," Pattison said.
"When you get into it they do a lot of work for a pretty amateur sport. I do all the technical side of it in the boat and all the rest of it, but it comes down to the athletes who are doing the work."
Pattison said a club focus on the marquee Australian titles was behind the crews peaking on the sport's biggest stage.
"At the start of the year the highlight was the open women's being the NSW representative [at the ASRL] after winning the interstate title, but from there we basically focused on the Aussies," Pattison said.
"Everyone had the right attitude. We were on a bit of a high going back over to Perth, we've always done well over there. Three of our men's crew won back-to-back under-23 Australian titles over there.
"I think confidence does go a long way, and they were pretty confident going back there that they liked those conditions. That was our goal, to just peak and perform for there."
The crew of Aaron and Corey Jackson, Mitch Stuart and Steve Kenna won gold in the blue ribbon open men's, while the women's under-23 crew of Taylor Morley, Morgan Davies, Alisha Meek and Nicky Kresevic also won gold.
The reserve men's crew went close to the club's third gold but were edged into silver by Tugun, while the open women's also finished in the top 10.
Pattison admitted the award was the cherry on top of a great season.
"When you think about it there's a lot of paid coaches in surf clubs these days, so to pick up coach of the year is pretty special I suppose," he said.