2015: The year of reconciliation with the clubbies?

Phil Jarratt picture
Phil Jarratt (Phil Jarratt)
Surfpolitik

It was a couple of days after Christmas and the beach I was surfing – one of the most popular in Australia – was ridiculously crowded.

Strangely though, the shoulder-high peak I had chosen was almost civilised, with just a handful of mixed all-sorts sharing the glassy offerings ahead of the lunch-time onshore.

I chatted to a few mates, nodded welcomes to a few well-mannered strangers and thoroughly enjoyed my six or eight waves and figured I’d call it a session.

The last one lined up beautifully and I cruised across the inside section to the channel to link up with the right and do a gentle old guy reo into shore. Let’s say I caressed the lip rather than smacked it, and there, below me and the foam, was a floater. Not a turd but a young man on a log, looking a little concerned as I kicked my board away and landed on top of him.

A very heavy object cracked across my shin with full force and I was seeing stars as I floated to the surface. The other surfer seemed to be unhurt and full of unnecessary apologies (I figured since I hadn’t seen him until I was on top of him, I was at least as much, and probably more to blame).

I looked down at my left leg and was shocked to find a deep crease across the shin. Surely it was a break. I floated into the shallows and gingerly put some weight on the leg. Yowza! It didn’t bend.

I was nevertheless shaken and a little wobbly on my feet as I picked up my board. Within seconds two patrolling clubbies had jumped out of their buggy up the beach and rushed to my aid. They sat me down in the shade of their vehicle while they dressed the wound and iced the fast-swelling leg.

I told them I was recovering from a heart attack (several months prior) and that I needed to sit tight until my heart rate was normal again. For these young volunteers this was one of the busiest days of the year, with just enough swell to cause havoc up and down the beach. They needed a lame old surf dog patient who should have known better like they needed a hole in the head, and yet nothing was too much trouble.

And when I was finally feeling okay, they drove me to my car in the car park, made sure I was comfortable behind the wheel, shook my hand and wished me the best for the holidays.

I know from previous experience of surfers needing help – myself and others that I’ve helped – that this was not an isolated incident. Volunteer life savers do actually save lives, but mostly they give up their time ensuring that people involved in the most mundane of accidents come to as little harm as possible.

There’s no glory in that, no kudos, and often not even a thanks.

As I drove home the other day I felt just a little ashamed at every time I’ve blown up at the clubbies for dumping the swimming flags across the end section at First Point, or for getting antsy with some kid who takes the power of the uniform a little too seriously.

As a breed, we surfers are often too quick to judge the clubbies. Sure, the reverse sometimes applies too, but the next time you get hurt in the surf at a patrolled beach, it’s worth remembering that it will be one of them, not one of us, who will be there to help you.

Australia is one of the last bastions of surf separatism – where surfers and surf life savers often inhabit completely different universes. The barriers need to come down, and I’m pleased to say that co-operative efforts are now happening at my home beach, Noosa.

On Sydney’s northern beaches this has been happening for decades, and I’m looking forward to hearing what two of the most prominent surfers in that movement, Nick Carroll and Midget Farrelly, have to say about it in a panel discussion at next weekend’s “Talk Story” sessions as part of the Duke’s Day centenary at Freshwater Surf Club.

There’s a lot of interesting stuff happening at Talk Story, put together by Jack McCoy and John Ogden. Check out the full program at dukesday.com. //PHIL JARRATT

Comments

gavin007's picture
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gavin007 Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 9:16am

Yes, I remember many years ago as a kid I scored a lip full of someone else's surfboard that required stitches. The Point Leo clubbies drove me the 10k home to Mum and Dad. Hats off to the Surf Life Saving Association !

And Happy New Year Swellnet team and followers!

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 9:34am

I hope they (Jack) documents these stories on dukes day. Maybe Swellnet can publish a few - it will be great reading

The Doctor's picture
The Doctor's picture
The Doctor Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 10:27am

25 years 1 month and 3 days ago, I caught the bus to Dee Why beach. RA thruster under my skinny arm, I was desperate for a wave. It had been a hell of a week at school. As the bus pulled to a stop, I saw the most perfect bank that I'd ever seen as a crystalline 4 foot peak broke symmetrically to the shorebreak. The butterflies in my stomach flew to the heavens like a flock of wild geese. And then I saw the totems - yellow and red and fluttering in the light offshore breeze. The flags. Staked in the sand directly in front of the peak but driven deeper into my heart. A godforsaken act of bastardry. Cowardice calculated to shatter a young boy's hopes and dreams. An act repeated at beaches around this great country on a daily basis. A scourge across the land. Fckn Clubbies. Never forgive. Never forget.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 11:10am

I remember that summer Doctor, the bank cranked for months. The clubbies were complete dickheads and would deliberately put the flags on it but it wasn't a big problem as you had to get in early to beat the sea breeze anyway. The big change was the upgrade of the lifeguard service. The late Robert O'Brien from North Narrabeen was instrumental in bringing professional standards to managing the beaches through out Warringah. Since then the professionals make all the decisions and the clubbies do what they're told and usually just stick to watching the kiddies in the flags. I'm not sure reconciliation is really necessary since there is no real conflict or hostility. Yes some of us still like to have a laugh at the boofy boaties in their improvised G strings and cute pink halter tops but that has to be seen as fair comment. So while there is a significant overlap between the two groups the cultural divide is still there and unlikely to ever be completely bridged. Most surfers just have no interest in the regimented formal structures of the SLSC.

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 11:46am

Trust those days are now gone ... Today the beachies decide where the flags go, so the clubies don't make that call. Where we are the beach inspectors are hard core surfers themselves - they know the feeling. The days that PHIL is talking about have past ...

floyd's picture
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floyd Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 10:32am

I must have lived in another universe cos I've always respected what they do after all they love the ocean as much as us, they do a great job.

matt79's picture
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matt79 Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 11:12am

The money that has been wasted on the corrupt "profit making charity " named surf lifesaving could be used to provide professional lifeguards for nearly every beach in need all year round . Professional lifeguards that into account that putting the flags in front the only good bank on the beach will cause angst with the local surfers . Professional lifeguards that don't need to strutting around posing at the local shopping centre in there red and yellow outfits . Professional lifeguards that have long ago ditched the outdated rubber duckies and Gallipoli boats , and the need to ride around in circles and back and forth for no apparent reason other than joyriding. Professional lifeguards with Professional skills . Then the volenteers could go back to doing whatever they do in winter , when they are no where near the beach and the rest of us can surf in peace .

mick-free's picture
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mick-free Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 1:22pm

Pipeline LifesavingTower.

Compare that to the your local monstrosity on your beach. Disgraceful how under the guise of lifesaving they have been able to build their 'tower' complete with restaurant, gym and offices for the boss. How did this happen?

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 2:16pm
mick-free wrote:

Pipeline LifesavingTower.

Compare that to the your local monstrosity on your beach. Disgraceful how under the guise of lifesaving they have been able to build their 'tower' complete with restaurant, gym and offices for the boss. How did this happen?

That's a pretty narrow way to look at it Mick. The SLSA is so much more than just a volunteer beach patrol. In the scheme of things, the patrols are really just the tip of the iceberg. To the thousands of people (and their kids) involved directly with it, the association provides a great place to learn ocean skills, first aid skills, keep fit, compete, teach and help kids in a safe structured environment that gives them a grounding in life, and it's a social hub.
It's a community organisation, not some selfish private club. I can't think of anything else like it anywhere in the world.
I think the whole anti clubby crap is an east coast thing anyway, and these days probably a hangover from another era.

fredflintstone's picture
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fredflintstone Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 9:18pm

You should see the size of the training building on the south side, not to mention the sheds that store the jets from both Ehukai Beach Park and sunset, not to mention rescue 2 and 3 the two roving wave runners on north shore.
In fact the north shore life guard association runs a junior guard program on a shore string and is envious of the Australian nipper program and resources. Only this this they took a leaf out of the nipper book with fund raising.

fredflintstone's picture
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fredflintstone Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 1:38pm

Some very interesting comments, most very misguided and show the great divide that some, not all just some, surfers have with surf lifesavers.
I say surfers because I don’t know any issues the lifesavers have with surfers it seems it is the other way around.
I volunteer at the beach in question, the patrol I work with is made up of 95% surfers, interesting fact in that alone. Do most here know the club has as members several ISA world champs in its ranks, and numerous state and national surfing Australia members? 40% of the guys I work with on patrol is or has been “professional” lifeguards.
There a huge cross over, cubbies, professional lifeguards, and shock horror, surfers are the one and the same. It is interesting that some see a difference.

Most surfers wouldn't have a clue the issues the clubbies face just to set a flagged area. They, and lifeguards have a legal requirement to set a “safe” swim area, that is safe as possible from the probable risks. One of these “risks” under laws of the council and common law is surf craft. It will shock most surfers to know that both volunteer surf lifesavers and lifeguards at noosa have been called up in legal actions against them when a board rider has entered the flagged area and hit a swimmer. This has lead the swimmers to sue the council, SLSA, the club and the poor sucker in charge, including the volunteer ones.

Now ask yourself why a clubby and now the lifeguards get the shits with a board rider enters the flagged area. Most times when a surfer does enter the area is it a “please move” but when you get the same guy do it time and time again it does frustrate you, and the please is dropped.
I like my house and home and to have it at risk due to a legal action from an injury caused by someone else is not pleasant, and the 99% of the time the surfer gets off scott free as they can’t be identified by the suing person, but the clubbie/lifeguard can be.

The other issue at noosa is when there is a swell a rip opens just west of the tower, so setting the flags further south is not possible it means sometimes the flags end up in the run off area of the point, this is not done on purpose it done because it is the safest swim spot.
I have been known to set the flags hard up in corner to open up the run off area but this can create other issues as it can flash rip, there are exposed rocks in the area and then we get the same surfers who we are trying to open up the point for entering thought the flags, and creating the issues we have with swimmers being hit. You can’t win.
Has anyone here ever approached the patrol captain or senior lifeguard to discuss the flag placement, in a reasonable manner?

Most clubbies know there are issues with SLSA fund raising, the use of IRB’S vs Wave runners, but the wave runners have issues that the IRB don’t, the 2 person crew can rescue a knocked out person a single person waver runner can’t (do some research on matt barclays death...)and can handle mass rescues that wave runners can’t.
The “back and forward and running in circles” is called parallel running, both wave runners and IRB’s do it. It is done so the craft can find a safe “gateway” out though the break so the crew is not injured, is also a skill that the either driver needs to practice to ensure that can effect a rescue in the break zone.

I could tar all surfers with the brush of the behaviour of some, the guys like the ones who drop in and run over the kids on nipper boards, the guys who have verbally and physically attacked other surfers and we had to deal with the aftermath on the beach as a volunteer, the ones who refuse to follow the rules putting swimmers at risk and open up the volunteers to legal action, and the ones who threaten you, but I know that is a few bad apples and not the norm.
I wonder if most surfers do the same?

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 at 2:22pm
fredflintstone wrote:

... lifeguards have a legal requirement to set a “safe” swim area, that is safe as possible from the probable risks. One of these “risks” under laws of the council and common law is surf craft. ...

I'm a little late to this discussion, so sorry, but I'm going back to the first page of comments with that quote ... BUT, this is EXACTLY the issue (and it's link with negligence) that is often overlooked. It is also, would you believe, the solution?

If a surfer is already in the water, surfing a "peak" or bank, THEN the person "setting the flags" for that area surely MUST take into account the surf craft and likely event(s) and use of that area for the period which the flags are to be set. To tell the surfers to leave the area just because they set the flags is where the whole issue hinges. Once the surf craft risk is taken into account, and viewed on the a basis of who was using the area first, then the flagging area MUST be set elsewhere. It's not hard for the "flags to be set" up the beach a few hundred metres. If no where else "safe" ... don't set the flags. Simple.

If no surfers in the water, but it is obviously a surfable wave and location / area for the prevailing conditions, think through the likely events of the day, remove all risk of a surfing in the "flagged area" by NOT SETTING THE FLAGS THERE! Simple.

I believe cases have been won (by way of out of court settlements so not fully reported) by using the core of the issue described above. (i.e. negligence argued based upon surf craft risk over the course of the day was sufficient to reach an agreement of settlement out of court ... cases against surf clubs and councils settled and paid partly by insurance and partly by council / slsa)

So, it begs the question, is it worth the hassle for the "flag setter" or patrolling surf life saving volunteer, or even employed life guard, when all it takes is a simple process of 'shifting the flags'? The simple solution seems to be that the 'flagged area' gets moved is there are waves there ...

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 2:04pm

So how would you become personally liable Fred? The policy would seem to cover everything up to outright criminal behaviour.

http://www.jlta.com.au/slsa/combined.aspx

fredflintstone's picture
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fredflintstone Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 3:42pm

An insurance policy will only cover you if you have done the right thing. If a person can prove that the person in charge of the beach allowed a unsure condition, in the cases I discussed a board rider entering a swimming reserve and hitting causing an injury to a swimming, they will be named in such an action.
While they can prove that they did all that was in there power to stop it they in most cases will be dropped from the action.

The good Samaritan concept of protection in law while providing a rescue will not protect someone in case like this.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 4:17pm

" This policy will pay for sums which the Insured becomes legally liable to pay for compensation in respect of personal injury or property damage...."

I still don't see how you could become personally liable. The court can find you were responsible but the insurance company pays. Can you quote a case in which that did not happen. You implied you were familiar with some in your first post.

fredflintstone's picture
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fredflintstone Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 5:02pm

there are some wider cases discussed here;
http://eprints.qut.edu.au/9114/1/9114.pdf
The key issue is if negligence can be proved by the placing of the flags in an incorrect place (a big part of the swain vs wavlery council case), or if they aren’t policed correctly then the “officer" of the club or council (the powers in the bylaws in Queensland makes the patrol captain an council officer) then the that person could find themselves outside of the protection of the insurance.
I know of 3 local incidents 2 with cubbies and one with the lifeguards, i don’t believe the lifeguard one has run it course yet. So I can speak on the other 2, both where the same, a surfer that entered the flags and hit a swimmer, both where the same in the swimmer sued everyone involved. The outcomes very similar, both lost their cases. But the the 3 odd years of the action took there toll on the volunteers involved, one of the case it cost the patrol captain a considerable sum of money to engage his own lawyers, on his choice, as he didn’t have faith in the SLSA lawyers to protect his interests.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 5:20pm

Sorry Fred I cannot see a single example in there of an individual being held liable to pay damages, nor even of one being sued. I understand the stress of being involved in these issues but it is a very different thing to being on the wrong end of a large settlement.

mick-free's picture
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mick-free Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 9:08pm

Don't see it either Fred

Interesting the summaryof the two cases mention negligence by lifesaver, Glasheen v The Council of the Municipality of Waverley doesn't mention compo. Second case Bloom the council has to pay.

I can't see a volunteer being held accountable let alone having to pay compo. Especially with Tony now in charge.

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fredflintstone Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 9:11pm

What you need to understand is not the outcome in these actions, but the procedures in the matters before the outcome.
In the cases I have personal knowledge of, the Patrol captain was named, in effect sued.
Now if the Patrol captain, which was the cases, had followed procedures and the polices to the level of his training (not exceeding it) even if Negligence was proven the insurance will protect him.
But if he operated rated outside of the procedures and polices or above or below his training, in other words in effect broke his duty of care, then the negligence can fall back to him personally.
The process is very adversarial, but which I mean it is up to him to prove he did not breach his duty of care, not the other way around.
Can I give an example that really happened, a board rider entered the flagged area, and hit a swimmer, caused a major eye injury. The swimmer accused the lifesavers of allowing the board rider to enter the flagged area and had done so a number of times without any actions to stop him or warn them not to, thus breached their duty of care in causing the injury.
The saving grace in this case was a patrol captain who knew his rules and followed them, and the fact one of the members invoked in the incident was a lawyer who word held well in court papers tendered.
But the process was long and difficult, and if the patrol had allow board riders to enter the flags with no actions could had very well turned out very different.

A very good conference on this very subject was held a few years back “beach safety and the law national summit”. Numerous speakers confirmed what I have said.

By the it won’t be up to Tony, but the judges of the day, that is what separation of power is.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 9:24pm

Being named is hardly the same as being sued fred and as this link from your own area states the standard is acting in good faith. This means essentially that there was no intention to harm. So unless you can come up with a case where a patrol member was held personally liable, I don't see the issue. Yes it is unpleasant to be caught up in a court case where your conduct is put under scrutiny, been there done that, but it is very different from being bankrupted by a court award.

http://www.caloundracity.asn.au/Downloads/Presentation-PLG.pdf

chin's picture
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chin Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 2:37pm

There was a law passed in Australia years ago in response to people's fears of being sued as a result of injuring or making an injury worse as a result trying to aid an injured person. In America it happens, not here. Anyone making a genuine effort to help someone in trouble or injured can not be sued in Australia. The thinking is that it's better to do something, than it is to stand by and do nothing for fear of litigation. Off duty nurses and doctors arriving at car crashes etc. are perfect examples but the law covers a broad spectrum of similar situations.

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matt79 Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 5:44pm

First of all fred sounds like the stereotypical "clubbie" most of us cant stand . Lets get one thing straight to start with in my local area on the central coast of nsw . Monday to Friday 99% of surfers live in harmony for the summer months when the professional lifeguards are on duty . Saturday and sunday are completely different story .
Volunteer clubbies do not hold any authority at all ( they can call council rangers or police but that's is the extent of there "powers")
The sunshine coast is probably not the best place to use as an example of the fine organisation that is slsa after the backroom deals that handed them the local lifeguard contract in return for relocating the aussie titles . After the 3 deaths that occurred from officals ignoring common sense requests and logical question from most surfers "why would they have a clubbie comp on a straight piece of beach , that basically only has closeouts . In the middle of cyclone season , when most of the outdated equipment they use cant handle 2 foot of swell normally ? And how does giving a everyone a pink rashee make it safer ?
The rubber duckie vs jetski argument that u can only have 2 people when using a rubber duckie is as silly as it sounds ( ie most water patrols at every major surf comp ) pure propaganda
The erratic driving that we all witness has nothing to do with perfecting skills and all to do with joyriding and yahooing
But theres no reasoning with clubbies and there ego I for one just cant wait for winter again when there nowhere to seen and the surf is much better

fredflintstone's picture
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fredflintstone Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 3:50pm

Your welcome to your opinion.
One point though, a volunteer cubbie, at lease in quensland has the same powers as a lifeguard. The power is invested in patrol captain, and is the exact same as a council lifeguard, they can issue fines, take gear off people if they use it in an unsafe manner, and so on.
Do any use that power, no, most if not all choose to warn, of to default the power to police. It is not worth the hassle.
Maybe the issue is on saturday or sunday the line ups are bigger and areas need for flagged swim area is larger due to bigger crowds?
Interesting one of the main reason clubbiness don’t run comps on points, and use straight beaches is to not upset the surfers locking them out of the point breaks.

ZT's picture
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ZT Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 11:39pm

Sorry. You are wrong, only the police can approach you with the intention to confiscate your equipment, the rangers can not do this, the reason being that no person is permitted by law to touch you or your belongings without your permission, even the police will either request you to hand over an item or object or inform you of an impending reason for your arrest and subsequent confiscation of anything involved in a crime they allege you have committed.

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the-u-turn Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 4:44pm

Jeez, we have embarked on Australia's equivalent to Palestine.

I'm in both camps. Now at 45yrs of age i've been a clubbie and surfer (competitive and club member) on both sides. Life at the beach has radically changed. There are dick head clubbies and dick head surfers. I do heed the above comments that the majority of clubbies don't have an issue with surfers and, on Sydney's Northern Beaches, I don't believe there is the divide. Just too many good, very good, surfers are involved in clubs either as mature adults or now days through their kids.

Fred's point is valid in NSW. Times have changed and 'duty of care' onus has as well.

Why am I still a clubbie? I guess it's just a position I hold pertaining to community service...which I must say is now something shared through great initiatives like Surfrider (thanks Brad), Surf Aid (thanks Dave) Disabled Surfers (thanks Gary) that allow surfers of all ilk to share.

Looking forward to the discussions at 'Duke's Day' (Freshie). Aloha

bull56's picture
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bull56 Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 5:22pm

Never

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 5:25pm

Without being too skeptical about it, will there be a discussion or just general agreement? Both of the invited speakers, Nick Carroll and Midget Farrelly have long associations with surf clubs and the event is held at Freshwater Surf Club with many of its members present. Sounds like a mutual admiration society to me......but all in a reasonable cause.

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Bob's 2 Bob's Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 5:48pm

The only thing I dislike immensely about clubbies is when they row their boats out - To me, they are death on water for some innocents and how they get the right to be rowed anywhere near recreational beach goers is beyond me.

Oh...and I think the clubbies erred massively when they ran ski races on Gold Coast close out banks year after year with fatal consequences -

But -- they do a lot of good on the beaches with flagged areas and lots of outstanding volunteers!

Blowin's picture
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Blowin Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 8:44pm

Do Aussies say Aloha now ?

Mate, you want to get hold of a copy of Monty Webbers - Random Rogues and Ratbag Tales, read it hard and fast and take a good , hard look in the mirror.

That would be the same mirror I, personally, avoid at all costs.
Good luck with that.

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mick-free Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 9:32pm

Chin, its not narrow its just focused. SLSA should do what most business do and get back to its core and in the SLSA case that's saving lives. It's a con that you need to have these other things you mention. All of the above can be provided by something other than the SLSA. They should get back to core. Saving Lives, Patrols nothing else. Small footprint, maximum impact. There's no reason to have 4 concrete buildings only one stretch of beach (Manly). Get rid of them.

Give you a contrasting example. Saw two lives saves in Hawaii by North shore life guards, xmas morning same tower Sunset Beach, surf was 10-15 feet. There was one drowning, one heart attack. Full De-fib kit. They are on a level with trained paramedics dispensing adrenalin and performing CPR for 20mins, longer on the other occassion. SLSA guys are good for bandaids and picking people up in rubber duckies, but SLSA closes the beach if its over 4 foot. I'm not anti clubby thing, its great for when you bump your head like Phil, and have an ice bubble when a kid gets a blue bottle sting but when a heart attack happened in Queenscliff last year it was a member of the public who noticed the person in trouble and performed CPR, and no lifeguards were confident enough to take charge.

Love to have a look at the finances and management structures. Sure there would be a shitload of waste in there. Be opening a can of worms there though.

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chin Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 10:40pm

I'm from Sth. Oz Mick, where clubs are fewer and smaller and very much still all about their core reason for being.
Your anecdote about Queenscliff is valid but remember we're talking about a volunteer organisation, there's a minimum requirement (bronze medal) in order to do patrols but clubs can only use the people they have available so no they aren't always perfect.
The deep seated us-and them mentality never really existed in SA, other than in the minds of guys who read Tracks and picked up a mindset that didn't exist in SA.
A couple of guys from my club were some of the original pioneers of Cactus and other remote breaks in SA, there was no distinction between hard core surfers and clubbies, you're free to be whatever the fuck you want to be.
Maybe the east coast clubs have become more than they should be, I wouldn't know and probably shouldn't comment.
What I will say about east coast clubs though is that the same bronze medal applies and it trains you to do a lot more than apply bandaids.
Having a foot in both camps I'm kinda glad I never got exposed to all the east coast negativity surrounding beach ownership.
Clubby hatred, jesus the whole idea of it still sounds to me like the kind of vitriol that would come from the keyboard of a 14 year old boogie boarder.
Don't take offence at that Mick, I've no idea what you've experienced to make you feel what you do about clubbies. Different world over there I guess.

ZT's picture
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ZT Thursday, 1 Jan 2015 at 11:47pm

I have lived and surfed all over the world, including all over Australia, unfortunately I have to agree with many of the comments in relation to the NSW SLSC, over zealous and an inflated sense of power is how I would sum it up. Not so in the other states strangely enough. I also agree with the person who pointed out the lifeguard tower in Hawaii and why we don't have a similar setup instead of the ridiculous real estate that is currently in use. There should be a distinct separation of professional surf life saving and the clubs. The clubs should be simple community based groups and not be associated or funded by the professional government funded life guarding organisations.

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simba Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 7:24am

Correct me if im wrong but i was under the impression that slsc in nsw are a money making exercise first and saving people second,im talking about the people who run the show ?

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batfink Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 7:37am

I have found clubbies to be quite similar to humans, almost like they are the same species.

But yeah, over zealous and sometimes stoopid in where they put the flags up. In my experience there is a vast difference between the professional lifeguards and the clubbies in their attitude to surfers.

But that is just a general statement and there will be as many exceptions as there are examples.

But I can tell you for a fact that I have often seen flags put up in the worst possible locations on a beach, not in terms of taking the best waves for surfers but in endangering the lives of the not very savvy average beach goer.

Re comments on liability for clubbies, apart from gross personal stupidity, there is almost no chance that an individual clubbie would have the slightest legal exposure.

Modie's picture
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Modie Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 8:06am

If you think you could do a better job then clubbies may you should join up, than you might find out what actually goes in there instead of bitching about the men and woman giving up their freed time while doing uncontrolled laybacks at the edge of the flags.
I'm a clubbie, pro lifeguard and surfer and has work as a lifeguard around the world. What the Hawaii tower photo does not show you is the the building into back streets where the lifeguards are trained equipment looked after offices and most likely a gym. Sounds a lot like a surf club except council rate payers pay for that.
Most pro lifeguard have been through the nipper system and competed at high levels in surf sport giving high water skills. In countries I have work will little or no surf clubs that level of waterman skill is low, scary low (excude Hawaii that is another level of lifestyle).
On smaller or rocky beaches flag placement is difficult and as all surfers should know is that the banks are the safest place on the beach to swim and on small beaches there may only be one bank, we try our best but it's not always possible to please everyone.

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freeride76 Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 8:52am

In Phils case we might apply the rule common to science: personal anecdotes make the worst basis for conclusions, unless you have an event to promote, in which case all bets are off.
Be still my cynical mind, but my old boss Lester Brien from Freshwater seemed to have a reasonable historical appreciation of the SLSA movement. Primarily, a method for pastime of surf bathing to acquire the necessary respectability to overcome the inertia of ultra conservative social mores. Very quickly the organisation became more conservative than the mores it was trying to supplant and a chief method of rising up the social ranks in Sydney.

It acquired it's own quasi-military rituals and homo-erotic regalia, which all deeply conservative organisations do.

Nowadays it controls some of the most valuable real estate in the country, which it uses profitably in the sale of food and alcohol.
It's once again become the primary tool for social climbing, particularly amongst newly arrived Poms looking to establish themselves amongst wealthy beachside networks.

Saving lives? They probably do a few in Summer.
Most of the dangerous conditions and rescues around here occur in Winter and they are nowhere to be seen; a thorny paradox for an organisation ostensibly set-up with a raison d'etre of improving surf safety.

Sorry Blindboy, I just dialed up the scepticism/cynicism to 11.
Summer always does that to me.

ps, I have no beef personally with the clubbies and I take my hat off to anyone who puts it on the line to help a fellow human being out.

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benski Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 11:17am

I take a dim view of surfers on this issue. I grew up surfing Bondi and Tama, but mostly I was a grom at Bondi. Then moved to QLD and surfed the coasts north and south of Bris before moving to the sunny coast. Never had anything to do with the surf clubs anywhere I've lived. I've never had a problem with clubbies because I don't surf between the flags. Can't see how you'd have a run in any other way.

I think surfers are the most self-entitled tools over this. Think about it, who is the biggest user of the beach in summer? It sure as hell ain't surfers. It's the millions of summer swimmers who descend and clog up the car parks for the holidays. It's a nightmare sure but clubbies (and pro lifeguards) are out there to provide a safe place to swim for these summer hordes. They are the biggest by number and are probably what sustain the economies of some sleepy towns with their annual injection of cash.

So what do the clubbies do? They allocate, what is it, up to 100m of your local, for 3 or 4 months, maybe 6 months, between 8 and 5. Oh but it's the best bank! No it isn't, it's the safest bank so get over it. It's kind of localism in reverse isn't it. Locals being excluded from "their" wave. Surf earlier or later and you've got no problem.

Maybe it's more of an issue on the northern beaches, but seriously surfers are not the biggest or most important user of the beach during summer (or probably on an annual basis), so get over yourselves. You're not the only beach users who matter.

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blindboy Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 11:28am

So who is going to Duke's Day to put the other side of the argument? I will be in WA. From my point of view reconciliation is unnecessary because, while there may be some ill feeling by individuals, there is no real conflict. If the agenda is to increase the number of surfers involved in the surf clubs then I can't see it really happening and certainly not without a massive cultural shift on the part of the clubs. As it stands the clubs would be more effective with more local surfers involved, but it is hard to see what is in it for the surfers. I don't think appealing to their community spirit would work because the lifeguard system works so well surfers just don't feel that they are needed to maintain public safety. In my time I would also say that the local clubs in my area have never made any substantial effort to engage with local surfers. If they really want us involved, it's not rocket science. Engage with the local boardriders club, hold a training day for them, put on a few events for the groms, give them some sort of associate membership so they can use the facilities......but it's probably easier to do a deal with some private school.

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the-u-turn Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 1:18pm

Jeez, (take two). The vitriol is what keep's online champions going for it. So i can backtrack.

Blindboy - As we both know each other your knowledge and experience in surfing is exceptional, no two ways about it. But the argument if flawed (with respect to Freshie). Who do you think is putting on Duke's Day? It is the SLSC + Board Clubs + Environmental Community groups. I think that's a pretty good reach. As to Nick C, I think he can speak for himself....but I have never seen him wear speedo's.

Freeride - You too know your stuff, but, with respect to Winter the overwhelming amount of rescues done during winter are by SLSA members (as per collated data). Most recently the significant one at Freshie was by a member, down for an early. The membership of SLSA has grown because it is, now, a very different body to what it was in 1914, 1944, 1964 - 1984. And, for the better. Clubs have many in their ranks, with a common cause of service (...and yes, some are dick heads, as are others in, and out of, organisations Australia wide).

As for the Aussies (Kurrawa), the biggest critics were the many of us who did it behind closed doors. Yes, the organisation should have shifted course many years before hand. If we don't train for the conditions we never develop further than we are at present. Just like Kelly has changed performance, as did TC, MR, Edwards, Kivlin, etc, etc.

Aloha? Well, growing up in SA I never heard the term, in particular anywhere west of Pt.Augusta. But, it's a heck of a lot better than growling at each other in the surf isn't it.

Aloha.

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blindboy Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 2:40pm

u-turn I am happy to acknowledge what Freshwater Club is doing. I don't surf there. The places I do surf the clubs have not made any serious effort to engage surfers. My basic point is that if you want to solve a problem......first find one. I just can't see any significant issue here other than the desire of a few people to bring more surfers into the Surf Life Saving movement, a desire which does not seem to have significant wide spread support in either camp.

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Bob's 2 Bob's Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 2:55pm

u turn --- I believe the negligence of Kurrawa was obscene and anyone who tries to defend such I think is out of touch totally with a serious understanding of basic surf conditions, forget the size, it was more about paddling craft and racing across ridiculous shallow close-out banks! The people making the decisions those days...also totally out of touch with understanding the ocean. The people protesting the decisions, like Midget Farrelly, ingrained with an understanding of the ocean.

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Blowin Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 3:10pm

What happened at Kurrawa ?

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tonybarber Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 3:47pm

For many who are not aware of the start of surfing here in AUS then see if you can get down to Duke's Day at Freshwater (8th & 9th Jan). I suggest there will be interesting discussions re the evolution of the sport and why it is what it is. Jack McCoy (and fellow organisers) have done a great job and I think are trying to get a unit of spirit into the sport. Understanding its beginnings helps. The SLSA and surfers differences are becoming less and less relevant in todays water lovers. Help out the swimmers / beginners and go for it for yourself.

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blindboy Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 6:46pm

Sorry tony, but people had been surfing here long before Duke. It is still a popular misconception that he introduced board riding to Australia but the evidence is very firmly against it.

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tonybarber Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 11:48am

BB...you may be technically correct but the Duke's ride gives a very good starting point with a man from the land of surfing. I would suggest this is a fitting good event to review the history. Freshie is as good a place as any. Certainly the eaRlier boards were not like the Hawaiian.

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blindboy Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 12:46pm

I disagree tony. Surfing was already happening and was always going to develop given the social changes already under way, the favourable climate and the abundance of waves and locations. Duke's contribution has been enormously over-rated in my opinion, but we all love a good myth and Duke's is about all we have.

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Blowin Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 1:26pm

No offence Tony, but if you think that Freshie is as good a place as any to celebrate surfing in Australia , then I suggest you get out more. It might be relevant to yourself and other Sydney centric surfers , but to the rest of the country it doesn't even rate a mention. I honestly couldn't even tell you what kind of set up is there except that it's presumably underwhelming. Though I'm sure every dog has it's day.

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tonybarber Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 8:02pm

Blowin…do I sense an element of sarcasm ? If you can't tell what sort of set up at Freshie then your comment is superfluous. Just as many Hawaiians would say that Waikiki was not the birth place, it is still a marker and a place to remember the early pioneers. Sure there were many spots around AUS where blokes were having a go but thats not the point - is it ? Midget's world title in 64. Not a bad starting point.

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blindboy Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 8:05pm

Close tony, just one beach to the north of where Midget won in 1964. It was Manly.

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tonybarber Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 1:08pm

BB...it may interesting for all to elude the other many surfers / clubies that were pioneering the sport before the Duke. Jack would be interested. As would many.

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blindboy Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 1:14pm

Read Phil's previous book, " That Summer At Boomerang". From memory it gives a pretty fair treatment to the issue.

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tonybarber Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 9:59am

Possible to provide a summary. It would be interesting to see the history prior to 1915. Phil's book tends to concentrates on the Duke's ride and from then on.

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blindboy Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 10:33am

Here is some info about Tommy Walker who might have been the first.

http://www.surfresearch.com.au/sWalker.html

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tonybarber Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 5:52pm

The book seems to start with the Duke, so who / where were those you are talking about ? This could be interesting given that even surf life saving was very new to AUS. Swimmers, yes but boards riders ?? Maybe ask Phil.

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zenagain Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 6:09pm

Basically Blowy a few years ago now a young fella lost his life when they went out in cyclonic condtions at Broadbeach on the Goldy. I'm not totally sure of the circumstances but many people wanted to cancel because of the danger but they overrode that advice and went out anyway. I think they found the kids body the next day up near Main Beach. After that there were allegations of cover-ups and pressure from the SLSA not to proceed with a coronial inquest.

Then, a few years later, similar circumstances and agaisnt all advice, they went out again and another life was lost.

And another in the recent past.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/lifesavers-face-wave-of-anger-...

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mick-free Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 7:07pm

never has your tag line been more fitting

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zenagain Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 7:48pm

I don't undersatnd Mick, please elaborate.

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mick-free Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 8:11pm

ignorance is zen. reference to SLSA putting heads in the sand in a zen like way

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zenagain Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 8:14pm

Gotcha.

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Bob's 2 Bob's Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 6:22pm

cyclonic??? It was three feet wind swept --- more to do with running an event with craft racing through closeout sandbanks, and I think prior to the 2 cases above, at the same beach, same carnival, a boat rower might have also gone down.

I don't want to bash the SLSA movement, I think they are awesome, voluntary beach patrols etc, nippers - great programs.....but I think this particular event was not handled well at all.

I'm not a fan of the boats rowing near public either but maybe that has been monitored a lot more??

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zenagain Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 6:43pm

I lived for many years at Narrowneck on the Goldy and surfed the day the first fellow died Bob. 1996. I remember it clearly.

I can assure you it was bigger than 3ft that day. Probably closer to 4-6ft. And I agree totally about surfcraft, those boats are a relic from the past and hardly relevant in this day and age.

For the record, I have nothing against clubbies.

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wellymon Friday, 2 Jan 2015 at 9:32pm

Love the literature again Mr Jarrett ;)

"and there, below me and the foam, was a floater. Not a turd but a young man on a log,"

Gold.

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freeride76 Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 7:24am

"Australia is one of the last bastions of surf separatism – where surfers and surf life savers often inhabit completely different universes. The barriers need to come down, and I’m pleased to say that co-operative efforts are now happening at my home beach, Noosa."

This sounded strange. I've surfed all over the world and I can't think of another country that has anything remotely like what we have in Aus, especially on the East Coast in the way of the SLSA org.
So, if our situation viz clubbies is unique any reference to us as some kind of throwback surf separatists is kind of meaningless.

Anyone else think of a comparable sich in other countries?

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inzider Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 11:01am

All over the world obviously dosnt include NZ then. We have clubbies everywhere. IRB world champions even.

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Blowin Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 8:34am

Clubbies save lives.

If crew want to spend their days volunteering to oversee the safety of strangers at the beach then good on them. I understand that this may require facilities . So be it.

But when the functionality of these facilities is derailed into private development in the middle of the sacred sands of an Aussie beach , then you've got to question what's going on. Google- Summer Salt restaurant and tell me what this has to do with saving lives.

No doubt many people love this joint and as I don't live there and the place is an overbuilt desecration anyway, it doesn't concern me overly.

But it's a precedent.

What began as somewhere to stow a rubber duck for some big hearted locals , has now become an entitlement to a stretch of coast that should remain public domain.
You could argue that it's still public domain, but with a charge of $8 to uncork a bottle of wine as an example, I'd say the freedom of the public has been somewhat eroded.

Transfer of ownership from public to private by stealth. No thanks.

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mick-free Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 4:06pm

Lovely view. Is that above the Cronulla surf club?

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Blowin Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 6:33pm

That's the one.

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mcbain Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 8:57pm

This is the big reason SLSA lack credibility. Shades of RSL clubs and pokies.

A perfect combination that the more cynical might see as using the camouflage of a community organisation to feather their nests.

Overseas visitors cant get their head around the RSL thing.

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dellabeach Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 2:05pm

Clubbies playing on their outdated equipment potentially ended my life.

Excerpt from coroner's report on the death of Saxon Bird, killed at Kurrawa, March 2010.
"The fatal incident .
Recorded vision of the board leg shows numerous paddlers being knocked from their boards and a number of
near misses as riderless boards spear among the others. Indeed, during that
leg a board can be seen flying through the air and crashing onto Saxon’s
board just in front of his head..........Saxon was approximately 15 to 20 metres directly inshore from the paddler
when he is dislodged. As it is buffeted before the wave, the riderless ski is
almost entirely north of Saxon as it is washed towards the shore, bobbling in
the foam.......Just as it appeared the ski would pass harmlessly to the north of Saxon, the
leading end digs into the water and the trailing end which is clear of the water
scythes in an arc, catching him a sickening blow to the head. He was knocked
from the ski and immediately submerged."

TWO days later, I was out surfing wide at Greenmount in 4'-6' very consistent Easterly swell, when the Jan Juc crew, having just left the Kurrawa carnival, decided to row their wooden boat out and surf from Snapper through to the beach at Greenmount. You can guess at how many surfers would have been out on such a day. At one point, I heard the boat crew yahooing as they were hurtled along on a set wave but was unable to see them because of the wave in front of them. When we eventually had eye-contact, I appeared to be safely out of their way, until the wave pushed them again and they were shot, out of control, to the right, towards me. In a moment, they were sideways and 6' in front of me. I yelled "FUCK!!!!" , threw my board away and dived to the bottom. I resurfaced to
oars floating around, clubbies swimming and no sign of the abandoned boat which must have careened its way to the flagged swimming area. My board was damaged but miraculously in one piece. I got to the beach and approached a female crew member who all though it was a big joke and concluded that "shit happens". No apology for potentially fatal collision was given or compensation for my damaged board offered.
Support clubbies....no thanks.

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simba Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 3:51pm

Gotta agree Della ,with what ive seen personally and on the news its lucky more people have"nt been killed by surf boats ,the most useless bit of surfing equipment ever.....so why do they use the donated money to buy surfboats,cant imagine much change out of $20,000 because i cant see too many people being rescued by one and im sure they could spend that money on some thing useful.

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inzider Saturday, 3 Jan 2015 at 4:28pm

Jan juc clubbies. Never seen them training in 2 ft plus in the year i lived there.

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freeride76 Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 6:46am

OK, apart from Inzid is there any other country that has a similar organisation to the SLSA?

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Bob's 2 Bob's Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 9:28am

Great Britian - Dads Army?

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brutus Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 10:11am

Interesting to note here in the Surf Coast Shire......that;

"the Planning Surf Life Savings Future project," which acknowledges major growth here in the next 15 years ( 15K > 100K)...that the local community voted the top 5 ideas as , "opposed to the expansion of any of the existing clubhouses or the construction of any new ones."

there is a growing trend for SLSC's increasing their footprint on Crown/Public land for purposes that have nothing to do with saving lives ie ; accommodation and social functions. this is partly so the can generate income ....but this should not be at the expense of the coastal environment and visual and social amenity and sightlines f the general public."

the idea of professional life guards as in Hawaii/USA is the future for us here in the Surf beaches of Australia.....and should come from surfers as in Hawaii...

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inzider Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 7:20pm

100 k , holy shit thats seriously wrong Brutus. Surfcoast shire need their heads read, place is hectic enough already.

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tony ty carson ... Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 11:13am

Hey Stu-don't know where else to post this--just wondering if your still going to finish the new ASP- Zoosea- piece--"Is Anybody Watching'--and when you might post it. Thanks?

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stunet Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 1:41pm

G'Day Tony,

I've been waiting on a response from the ASP for over a month. Following the last two instalments the crew at ZoSea asked to have an opportunity to respond in the third and last instalment. I've granted them that, asked a few questions, and now I'm waiting. Was hoping to have it done before Christmas...then New Year's Eve. If I don't hear from them shortly I'll post the last update shortly. Say about a week's time.

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tony ty carson ... Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 6:08pm

Stu-thanks for the update--looking forward to it. Curious if having a Brazilian Asp title will negatively affect the ASP viewings--since most of their target audience seems to be the US and Oz. Maybe only time will tell...

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benski Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 3:10pm

So we're getting upset that a not-for-profit organisation, reliant on volunteers to deliver the services they offer, are raising money to keep themselves afloat by using their real estate in a way that gives everyone access to it for the price of a schooner, or if you're hungry, a chicken parmy.

Are we looking for things to whinge about now?

You want professional lifeguards at your local? You better be prepared to pay more in rates.

You want the vollies to look after it for nothing? Just have a beer at the club every now and then and enjoy the view.

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blindboy Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 3:23pm

Not necessarily that straight forward benski, alcohol and the ocean are not a good combination and I am aware of at least one fatal drowning related to alcohol service in a surf club. If that's the way they want to go, fair enough, the nanny state and all that but I really can't see that it is a good idea.

http://www.royallifesaving.com.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/5815/Swim-...

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benski Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 3:46pm

I'm addressing the complaint that public land is being used for private enterprise, which isn't true.

But regarding your point, I don't see how you can make a restaurant or bar responsible for the actions of patrons once they've left the premises. Especially when there are hundreds of private restaurants and bars on the beach all over the country.

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Blowin Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 6:15pm

Thing is Benski, it's not their real estate.

I've stated that I have no problem with a minimum impact set up to house their facilities.

But up market restaurants, retro surf boats with zero function and a fully stocked bar are not necessary in the practice of saving lives. This is when it becomes a social club.

Nothing more, nothing less.

If the SLSC community wants to usurp the beach for their shits and giggles recreation then they can get fucked.

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ljkarma Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 9:12pm
Blowin wrote:

Thing is Benski, it's not their real estate.

I've stated that I have no problem with a minimum impact set up to house their facilities.

But up market restaurants, retro surf boats with zero function and a fully stocked bar are not necessary in the practice of saving lives. This is when it becomes a social club.

Nothing more, nothing less.

If the SLSC community wants to usurp the beach for their shits and giggles recreation then they can get fucked.

best description of the surf club movement on this whole thread.

they play political numbers games to surf support traded for votes at a local, state and federal level and game they play using the statistics they gather specifically designed to draw funding and hoodwink ratepayers and taxpayers into funding grossly excessive facilities that are more than often rented out selectively for private functions with proceeds funding the members 'activities' such as dangerous surf boat racing,specialised Racing IRB,s kept only for competition etc etc.
A life lost when lifeguard is on duty can result in criminal charges whilst a life lost on the 1/12 to two days the cubbies are on duty results in 'a tragic accident' yet do the math on the percentage of the facilities your average surf club is available to the 2 day warriors compared to the 5 day lifeguards. a rough estimate would be 80/90% of the clubhouse area/facilities is either locked up and or restricted to 'members only' whilst the lifeguards are forced to manage the whole beach often with little or no adequate facilities against weather/sun and little or no access to the clubhouse luxuries.
Supporters are more than likely the recipients of some benefit they derive via their association. Discuss

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matt79 Sunday, 4 Jan 2015 at 9:59pm

Finally someone gets it and puts it more eloquently than I could. Could someone please post a link to the four corners episode that was all about the apparent corruption and insider trading of Slsa . Stunet maybe this is one for you in the interest of a fair and equal argument ???

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mcbain Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 9:40am

http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2013/05/06/3750486.htm

What originally had its heart in the right place are now commandeering public space under the guise of community benefit. RSL clubs all over again.
Do the SLSA pay local government or the state a lease or other fee for the club houses?

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zenagain Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 10:56am

McBain, thankyou for the link. Watched it from start to finish. Brilliant.

Such an eye opener.

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ljkarma Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 10:28am

Alcohol and Surf Clubs. At least in NSW the Liquor and Gaming laws apply and must be strictly complied with as any business/club selling liquor well knows.

So have a read and apply those laws to your local surf club and see if they comply with the law in respect to serving of food, designated meeting times and supervision and in fact whether the club has even applied and obtained the mandatory licence, which if they have, would require them to display such in an appropriate manner.

FACT SHEET
Liquor licences for surf clubs
This fact sheet provides information
on the licensing options available to surf clubs under the NSW liquor laws. Surf clubs will also need to refer to the separate fact sheet for the specific type of liquor licence listed below.
Publication details December 2009
Communities Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing
www.olgr.nsw.gov.au
There are two licences available to meet the needs of surf clubs – a limited licence and an on-premises licence.
Limited licence
Most surf clubs have a limited licence.
It allows alcohol to be sold at functions held by a non-profit organisation, including surf clubs.
This licence allows surf clubs to sell alcohol during their approved club functions, as well as during their social functions (sometimes referred to as ‘coldies’).
Under a limited licence:
• surf clubs can sell alcohol at club functions that have been approved by the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority
• up to 52 club functions can be approved for each 12-month period
• alcohol can be sold for consumption on the surf club’s premises during a function
• trading hours are determined by
the Authority for each approved function (but alcohol cannot be sold between 3am and 10am generally).
More information is available in the
limited licence - multiple functions
fact sheet at www.olgr.nsw.gov.au
Surf clubs with a limited licence can also sell liquor at their social functions. These social functions are in addition to the club’s approved functions referred to above.
Surf club social functions are subject to the following requirements:
• the social function must be organised by the surf club
• the social function must be held on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday (not Christmas Day)
• the social function must be held in connection with, or following, an activity associated with the conduct or administration of surf life saving
• at least 14 days notice must be given to the Authority, the local police and the local council (one notice can cover multiple functions)
• the social function must be held on the club’s premises (if the club has several premises, it can only be held on its principal premises)
• only members of the club and their guests can attend
• the licensee must keep a register on the premises that includes details
of the function as required by the Authority
• the social function must have been approved by a resolution recorded in the records of the governing body of the club
• food of a nature and quantity consistent with the responsible sale, supply and service of alcohol must be available
• alcohol must not be available at the function before 12 noon or after 10pm
• alcohol must not be available at the function for more than 4 hours
December 2009 1 of 3
FACT SHEET
Communities Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing
Liquor licences for surf clubs
• the licensee must ensure that adequate adult supervision is maintained at any time when persons under the age of 18 years are on the premises during the social function
• police and inspectors are to be permitted access to the premises.
On-premises licence
Where a surf club wants to sell alcohol at private events held at the club premises as well as at its own functions, it can apply for an on- premises licence.
Under this licence, surf-clubs can hire out their premises and sell alcohol at those events. An on-premises licence can also be used to sell liquor at the club’s own functions, as well as its ‘social functions’. Therefore, only one liquor licence is needed.
Under an on-premises licence:
• the sale or supply of alcohol must not be the primary purpose of the business or activity carried out on the licensed premises ie. cannot operate as a bar
• the licence will specify what activity is carried out – ie. surf club and/or catering service
• alcohol may only be sold for consumption on the premises with or ancillary to another product or service that is sold, supplied or provided to people on the premises
• the sale of alcohol will be subject to conditions imposed by the Authority
• standard trading hours are 5am to midnight, Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 10pm on Sunday
• an extended trading authorisation can be approved by the Authority to allow trading outside the standard hours
• a community impact statement (CIS) must be prepared with an application for an extended trading authorisation. Further information is
contained in the Community Impact Statement Toolkit available at www. olgr.nsw.gov.au/liquor_CIS_home. asp
• on Good Friday and Christmas
Day alcohol can only be sold for consumption on the premises from noon-10pm and only with or ancillary to a meal served in the dining area
• on New Year’s Eve alcohol may be sold from the start of the standard trading period until 2am the next day (unless other extended trading hours have been approved)
• food of a nature and quantity consistent with the responsible sale, supply and service of alcohol must be available whenever alcohol is sold.
Surf clubs considering applying for
an on-premises licence should first determine exactly how they wish to operate their premises. The club will need to describe how the premises will operate in the application.
6-hour closure period
As a result of amendments to the liquor laws, a 6-hour closure period applies to all liquor licences granted from 30 October 2008 onwards, as well as existing licences that have
an extended trading authorisation granted from that date. The 6-hour closure period will usually start at 4:00am and end at 10:00am each day.
An applicant can request a different 6-hour closure period on a temporary or permanent basis – for example, 3:00am to 9:00am each day – or for different closure periods to operate on different days of the week,
either temporarily or permanently. The Authority is responsible for determining those applications. A $200 application fee applies.
The Authority considers that,
as Parliament has expressed an intention that liquor trading should not commence before 10:00am, approval of an earlier start time will not be given unless there are cogent and exceptional circumstances.
December 2009 2 of 3
FACT SHEET
Communities Office of Liquor, Gaming & Racing
Liquor licences for surf clubs
‘Exceptional circumstances’ may include situations where early morning liquor sale/supply is a fundamental part of a take-away liquor business (because of, for example, proximity
to a fishing port or marine facility) or where purchasers have a reason for early morning purchase and could not reasonably make other arrangements and there are no other reasonably accessible liquor businesses trading before 10:00am.
If arguing ‘exceptional circumstances’, the Authority expects an applicant
to make a detailed and convincing case in favour of the different 6-hour closure period that is being sought.
Where a licence is subject to a 6-hour closure, the trading hours will usually be from 10:00am to midnight (Monday-Saturday) and 10:00am- 10:00pm (Sunday).
Development consent and Crown land
Development or planning approval may be required from the local council for a surf club that wishes to obtain
an on-premises licence. The club should contact the local council before making an application. The Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority will need to be satisfied that any development consent that is required is in force.
Alternatively, special permission
may be needed for surf clubs on Crown land that wish to obtain an on-premises licence. The club should contact the Department of Lands before making an application. The Minister for Lands will need to be notified by a surf club on Crown
land that applies for an on-premises licence.
Further information is available in the limited licence fact sheet and on- premises licence fact sheet at www. olgr.nsw.gov.au.
Need more information?
Our website is constantly updated with information about the liquor laws. Go to www.olgr.nsw.gov.au to access this information. Subscriptions to our e-news service are also available from this site.
Access to the liquor laws – the Liquor Act 2007 and the Liquor Regulation 2008 – is available from www.olgr. nsw.gov.au/legislation_liquor_reform. asp
For more information, call our Client Access Centre on 02 9995 0333 or email [email protected]
December 2009
3 of 3

benski's picture
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benski Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 11:00am

Blowin, you're right it's probably not their real estate and since they are not-for-profit, in the absence of corruption, no one is making cash from it. It's a community club that anyone can join and anyone can access (member or not). It's not private so you aren't excluded from it. It's a public use of public land that the community (i.e. all of us collectively) has decided is a good one.

I'd imagine it's the same for bowls clubs, local footy and cricket clubs that get cheap or free use of sports fields. They all exist for the community and everyone can join them and use the facilities. The only difference is the surf clubs also provide a free service of life guarding.

As for the upmarket restaurants, well that's just a difference of opinion there. Personally I'm pretty happy to be able to get a reasonably priced feed with a view of the beach. And they've got to figure out some way to pay for the the life guarding services (jet skis, rubber duckies etc), so I have no problem with that. Rather they run a restaurant to raise money than pester me more often as I come out of coles and woolies on saturday morning. And then we can all access the view that comes with the sweet position.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 11:13am

A difference of opinion is what it is.

You like to sit in a building with a sweet view of the line up, whilst I'd like to sit in the line up with a sweet view of the beach - without hulking great buildings dominating the beach just so a couple of weekend warriors that dodge the beach all winter have somewhere to suck piss and store their toys.

You want to watch the line up whilst having a beer ? Grab a six pack and sit on the sand.

It's thinking like yours that will be the ruination of the Oz coastline.

benski's picture
benski's picture
benski Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 11:43am

haha!! Way to jump to conclusions there sunshine. I don't know about you but as they tend to be in cities and towns, I've not come across any places to surf where the only building I can see from the water is the local surf club. But I don't surf between the red and yellow flags that tend to be right out the front of those buildings so maybe that's why I haven't had that experience.

If you want to surf where you can't see buildings from the water, do what I do and surf remote places where you can't see buildings from the water. It works pretty well. Thankfully there's still a fair bit of coastline that hasn't yet been ruined by my kind of thinking.

nickcarroll's picture
nickcarroll's picture
nickcarroll Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 12:34pm

ha ha this is all pretty funny shit

sorta feels to me that every dogmatic anti clubby on here is probably as dogmatic about how fucked most other surfers are too. Crowds! Kooks! Wannabes! blah blah blah. Surfing's been ruined, etc.

I know a heap of old clubbies who were once dogmatically anti surfer too. They've changed their tunes a lot over the years. Reconciliation or whatever might not be necessary, as blindboy says; maybe it's almost too big a word for this situation. But this is how it happens, over time and incompletely, differently in different places.

Re the surf club empire builders, well god knows they exist, some of them fill me with considerable queasiness, not to say horror. Likewise the joiners and social climbers. But I hate to break it to ya fellas, they exist everywhere, even in surfing. And if you're really fucken good in the ocean then a surf club is one way - a very straightforward and clear way - of using those skills to the benefit of others. Plus who knows, you might learn something - i.e. how to save some other poor bastard's life, in or out of the water.

I know a lot of us have had shit experiences with various forms of clubby over the years. Maybe I've been lucky in that regard, the old clubbies at my beach ended up being more like uncles or something. For me it's a balance, can I put up with the wanker factions in order to learn and be of use to all the kids I help train and move through their fear of the ocean? Yeah I can, pretty easily.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 12:55pm

Of course the geography of Newport probably played a part in the harmonious relations there eh Nick? No waves anywhere near the clubhouse or the flags so no conflict.

nickcarroll's picture
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nickcarroll Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 1:32pm

Oh yeah, for sure. But only a part. In the mid 1970s the surf clubs were in a lot of trouble; membership had begun to slip, quite badly in some places, as the combination of old-clubbie rigidity and kids wanting just to go surfing took its toll. (Plus their lame exclusion of women from full membership till 1980 but that's another story eh.) That was totally true at Newport. There were less than 40 members at the club by the time Al Walker, Dougall's big brother and club captain, decided to recruit all the early Plus kids. We were like, "Fuck! you mean we can have a club house on the beach? And a fucken power boat?" We doubled the membership overnight. It was all just a big dumb joke, reels and belts and all that. They even had a shitty old bus that we stole to go on surf trips. Eventually we got bored and Hawaiian winter surf sojourns kind of made clubbiedom out of the question. The clubbies looked silly to me too later on, until my daughter got into Nippers. A lot of long term committed surfers I know from all over the country have tales to tell of how surf clubs have moved in and out of their surfing lives. These are complex little stories that have played out a bit differently at many beaches around Australia. There's more going on here than deserves some sorta blanket "Fuck that!"

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 2:52pm

They must have been desperate Nick your generation of Newport groms had the worst reputation of any on the NB since.......my generation a bit earlier and slightly further south. How times change, I bet they don't even go rat fishing in the dunes anymore.

mcbain's picture
mcbain's picture
mcbain Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 4:43pm
nickcarroll wrote:

There's more going on here than deserves some sorta blanket "Fuck that!"

nickcarroll wrote:

Re the surf club empire builders, well god knows they exist, some of them fill me with considerable queasiness, not to say horror.

Probably plenty of meat left on the 4 Corners story about SLSA commandeering public space/resources under the guise of a community org. Empire building in the surf industry is a bit different to doing it under the cover of a community service (RSL clubs anyone?).
Bit of investigative journalism to get some more eyeballs/traffic to your sites - Stu? Nick?

a360's picture
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a360 Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 12:51pm

an increasing Omnipotent organisation that is Australia Sacred cow in joe publics opinion.

IMO though where else does dozens of 50-70 year men in their jocks get a free reign
to stand around and closely watch dozens of little ones run around in the same jocks
and get away with it. Maybe another 4 corner ep in years to come discussing why did we not do a risk assessment on that

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 6:04pm

@a360…spell out what you are implying. Are you saying the old blokes (50 - 70 year olds) should not be helping the nippers ? The risk, what is the risk, what are these 'oldies' getting away with ?

a360's picture
a360's picture
a360 Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 6:43pm

if clubbies think they are immune to the scandals that have rocked Scouts/Swimming/Schools/Churches/etc etc etc then they are sadly negligent and if they do not think they are immune what are the current protocols put in place ?? if any and a police clearance is not worth the paper its printed on. What does your club have in place to prevent any chance of any sort of abuse.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 7:00pm

360 this should clarify the situation in NSW at least

http://www.surflifesaving.com.au/news/memo-member-protection-declaration...

chin's picture
chin's picture
chin Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 9:40pm
inzider wrote:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/9407096/World-champions-...

https://aussiesexoffenders.wordpress.com/tag/award-winning-surf-lifesaver/

Dodgy carnts on both sides of the ditch

Good detective work, not only is the SLSA the catholic church in speedos, but they have free reign to build whatever they want, wherever they want without having to jump through any hoops to get building approval from 8 or 9 regulatory bodies. How deep does this thing go? It's just a matter of time before an angry mob with pitchforks burn everything down.

tonybarber's picture
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tonybarber Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 3:37pm

@a360…if you are speculating or suggesting only then say so. If you have evidence then have the guts to present to the current running Royal Commission - http://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au
Your suggestion is serious and should be handled correctly. Your comment on 'old 50 - 70' clubs with younger nippers can do more damage. Talk facts.

a360's picture
a360's picture
a360 Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 4:22pm

denial is not just a river in Egypt you may be able to vouch for yourself but in 10 years time if a preventable scandal makes itself known in your club or another club where ever you can think about this thread.

SLSA is not an place where no one is immune best you think about what you can influence close to home and not bang on about the holy warriors in Red and Yellow.

And yes 50-70y males are most likely to commit abuse to those close to them.

mothart's picture
mothart's picture
mothart Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 6:08pm

If this part of the thread is going down this dark road, the name Peter Liddy (not sure of spelling) can't be left out.
Wrecked a lot of lives.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 at 6:57am

@a360...your suggestion / insinuations are out of line and incorrect. To suggest all 50-70 years old have a propensity for kids. Have the guts to go to the police if you have an issue. All those mums and dads that help their kids and others too that you are just are just a piece with mental problems. Stick to truth - it is not that scary.

tonybarber's picture
tonybarber's picture
tonybarber Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 at 3:51pm

@a360…by your own reckoning, 50-70 old surfers helping young grommets / nippers are int he same boat (as SLSA members). Maybe have the guts to turn up at one of the Snapper Clubs meetings or other clubs that will have 50 old plus members and tell them what you are insinuating here. As has been said - put up or shut up.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 1:09pm

IMO its not just a few clubbies at a beach that can save someones life, but yourself.
Thats you, yep YOU..!
How many people here are up to date with a basic First Aid course,
DRSABCD, using a defib etc.
Its very important and very easy to do at a well credited organisation.
It can come in handy, not only in the surf but in every day life.
Please go get up too speed, You could save someones life.
Simple;)

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 5:06pm

Real local surf lifesaving organisations are fine it is the two week clubs like Portsea which piss me off. They are a dumping ground for kids and those running it are tossers. Come along for two weeks a year and think they own the place. They should jump in their BMW X5's (they all have one) and drive to the front beach.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 6:42pm

For those concerned about SLSA finances, maybe you can make sense of this

http://www.slsfoundation.com.au/how-we-are-supported.aspx

http://www.slsfoundation.com.au/what-we-support.aspx

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 7:40pm

So out of $10.835M they still hang outside the local bottlo for free coin....?
Its got me stumped for sure.
Where is all this money going.....?
Some ones pocket...? Not saving lifes, I just cant comprehend it, sorry.

nickcarroll's picture
nickcarroll's picture
nickcarroll Monday, 9 Feb 2015 at 3:37pm

Every club would be different here wellymon.

The club I belong to at Newport is one of the bigger of Australia's 220-odd clubs, it doesn't have the whole pokie/restaurant thing going like in Qld so it relies on membership, sponsorship and various fund raisers

Thanks to its various programs and numerous costs (including a percentage of membership dues which has to be paid to the SLSA) the club usually runs at a slight loss or slight profit year on year. (We're lucky in that all the competition stuff in the club is covered by foundation and sponsorship backing that is specifically directed to the competition teams; everything there is separated out and accounted for)

The costs are constant, some predictable, others not. There's a bit over $200,000 in rescue gear held by the club and much of it turns over fairly quickly, or needs to be updated as training and rescue methods change. Many of the club's training operations (a lot, we train about 100 Bronzes and about the same number of Surf Rescue Certificates a year plus IRB crew and drivers, ARTCs, spinal on and on) are run to cover costs only which they sometimes do, and sometimes don't. There's a ton of stuff just maintaining a clubhouse, investments to be made around that which means we carry a loan facility which is never quite paid off. Heaps and heaps of shit that you would not necessarily guess at from looking at it.

Re fundraising, by far the best way to effectively raise funds for a surf club is through large community-involved events like ocean swims and internal club social events. Sitting outside a bottlo or Coles or whatever is a very ineffective way of doing it - you pull in almost nothing while burning out volunteers and providing no benefit to anyone else. Again we're lucky to have a good ocean swim at Newport each year along with a couple of small but important carnivals which help us make some money via carnival fees, sausage sandwiches, etc etc

The SLSA HQ people are the ones pulling in $10 million and in the past they have proved notably incompetent in spending it. That is changing at the moment, the SLSA was shaken by that Four Corners report even though they pretended not to be, and there is a generational turnover of Board members etc which should bring improvements in both accountability and sheer effectiveness in helping clubs do the deal.

Most of the good stuff in surf lifesaving comes from the individual club, not from the SLSA; the two are different animals.

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon Monday, 9 Feb 2015 at 6:09pm

Sounds good Nick ,cheers for the great info much appreciated;)

ljkarma's picture
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ljkarma Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 9:16pm

I have to admit to being somewhat perplexed by the complete absence of Mr Jarratt from anything other than the posting (or was it a paid contribution as a known journalist) that triggered this now growing and very controversial story/thread.

if you felt so touched by the purported actions of these 'cubbies' as to bring forth your touching experience , why the absence of any further participation in the ensuing dialog which you are responsible for.

Your timimg of the story with the forthcoming Duke Day, to which your attached link clearly shows, would appear to be an event that has SLSC written all over it and the level of commercialism attached is staggering. Please tell us this is not just a financial grab for cash by Freshwater SLSC as there does not appear to one charity mentioned as a recipient of what one can only be left to guess, would be an event that would generate a substantial amount of cash.
Your story alludes to questions/discussion that may emulate from the talk/question sessions as to the historical boffo that has existed (and still does) between the general "surfer' community and the 'clubbies'.
This raises the questions as to what, if any, role persons on such panel have gained a seat , like are they paid in any shape or form (from free airfares/accommodation or any other form of consideration or reward. And if your enjoying a drink at the "Freshwater Life Saving Club" see if they have their liquor licence up to date and clearly displayed .

None of this would probably matter if not for this story/article appearing on this site and the exposure that there is a huge amount of community concern as to how public money and facilities are being used by a selected few under the guise of "life saving".
There is a groundswell out there by far more ratepayers and taxpayers than just a handful of disgruntled surfers that some on here seem to try a label those whom may question.

But I don't have to tell Phil that, because that was the whole foundation of his story. Once Tracks editor who represented the most anti clubby publication of all time, goes soft in his old age because he fell on a floater???

I, for one, can't seem to stop asking myself, why???

BTW Phil, have always been a big fan and enjoyed enormously your recount of the Dukes history, so do us a favour, put your old Tracks hat on and stay true to your roots and if you are the independent journo i have loved to read...give me hell!

Phil Jarratt's picture
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Phil Jarratt Monday, 5 Jan 2015 at 9:56pm

Brilliant deduction, lj. I'm a pro, I do it for money. Whip me, beat me, make me write bad cheques, but I think this bizarre thread can get along quite well without me, going forward. And on the basis of the sentiments expressed in the majority of posts, I'll rest my modest case.

brutus's picture
brutus's picture
brutus Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 9:52am

ah Phil, the ol mercenary , " I'm a pro,I do it for the money,"........

ljkarma ......"this bizarre thread".....yes I am afraid that you have flushed out Phil and his talents as writer...but never a journalist......hehe.......entertainment is Phils MO...

mugofsunshine's picture
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mugofsunshine Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 10:00am

Just North of Noosa main beach but not as far as the river mouth, in fact right in front of the 2nd tower, I was on my wifes mini mal having somefun in the onshore closeouts. Two young fellas obviously in trouble started waving their hands. Both were in the rip. One made it back to his feet the other swept very quickly out and starting to submerge.

By the time I got to him he was under. I found him and pulled him across the board where he coughed and threw up a heap of seawater. By now we're out the back beyond the waves. I looked up to the tower to see the two volunteers on duty sat, feet on the railings, plastic chairs balanced on thier back legs, binoculars to eyes taking it in turns to point out 'things' to look at on the beach. Sitting up on the board I waved both hands above my head towards them.

Nothing. There were obviously nicer distractions in their field of view than us. Waving some more only attracted the attention of a few beach goers. Realising no help was coming I got the lad to lie down and made an effort to get us in. We got hammered but washed up on the sand. His mate was exstatic, he was comfortable if not shaken, I was racked full of adrenelin and furious.

At the tower I unloaded and told them both exactly what my thoughts were and not politly. Internal pressure somewhat relieved I made to leave, stepping over the threshold only to hear one of them mutter 'dickhead'.

In the words of our clubbie loving leader I 'shirt fronted him' and asked for his seniors name to report him to. 3 min later at the clubhouse on mainbeach I found the man I was looking for who upon approach raised his palm and said 'before you say anything I should tell you you've been reported to the police for assault'.

A week later I voluntarily (they didn't have my name so no idea who I was) attended Noosa station for a formal interview. It turns out the volunteer had withdrawn his complaint after refusing to attend an interview himself. The police were sympathetic and expressed gratitude at my rescuing the boy, other than him and his mate, the only people to do so.

Shake that tin all you want and make your glossy 'hands up' commercials with your petty cash but don't expect a cent from me.

As a brief aside, you sound incredibly smug in the above comment Mr Jarrat.

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 10:24am

It still to this day annoys me that I spent my teenage years disrespecting clubbies cause some dumb-arse 90s surf mags overhyped a BS surfer-clubby divide just so they could sell more magazines.

When I saw this article I thought - does anyone actually think the surfer-clubby divide is a real thing worth mentioning? The whole idea needs to be left back in the adolescent crap of the 80s and 90s.

silver-surfer's picture
silver-surfer's picture
silver-surfer Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 7:28pm

Phil Jarret has been bagging clubbies for at least 40 years. It's like he's on a mission. But I am starting to join some dots here. Reconciliation - crap. I reckon he's on a vendetta for payback.

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Tuesday, 6 Jan 2015 at 9:42pm

When one looks at the links to the Dukes day on phil's story there would appear to be a glutton of good ol boys who were clearly on the anti clubby bandwagon who are appearing as "panelists and chairpersons' across a wide range of topical discussion.

either they a very generous givers of their time and costs of travel/accommodation/meals etc as good community citizens acting in the interest of donating their services and expertise as payback for the lifestyle afforded to them, or, as silver surfer puts it, are having their oars very generously oiled and stroked by the likes of the SLSC and their corporate cronies.

The list is long and impressive for the most part although . Commercial influence and cronyism seemed to have played a part as some of the names on there could only be chosen because they are mates of those on the committee, as their credentials simply don't stand up to scrutiny in the presence of Midget, Hemmings, Simon, et al
But enough of this casting of aspersions and roll up to see them get stuck right into the SLSC and bring out the biffo and create the ultimate sting.

Ahhh, but I am sure they haven't sold out in their vintage years so much that a few crumbs thrown their way would see them desert their roots. Pitty many of us won't be there to see how they perform and one does wonder whatever they do say or do would be very much scrutinised by the SLSC media machine, so who will put up their hand to give us some unbiased feedback?

So Silver Surfer, whether intentional or not, stroking will be the main game this weekend and although 'oars' maybe stroked, certainly wallets, egos and the SLSC's political pulling power will be the only winner at days end.

Me thinks the Duke would turn in his grave.

owgoodaquads's picture
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owgoodaquads Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 at 9:23am

Wow. Very interesting the breadth of feelings and comments being posted. A couple of points were very pertinent to the situation where I'm from. Physically, it's not that often that the flagged area has any bearing on the surf, as it rarely gets the best bank on the beach. Regarding wankers, yeah you find them in both camps, but here, at risk of sounding too 'local', it's those (some, not all) who come from out of the area who bring the 'empire building, win at all costs, me, me, me attitude). I've never been a member of the SLSA, but have plenty of friends and family who are or have been and who are all lifelong surfers.
Is it purely a metropolitan or busy tourist area thing? Is there still a divide? Probably no more than between or within any other organisation or sport, and you really can't tar the members of an organisation due to those in charge. Except the Liberal Party of course ;

wingnut2443's picture
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wingnut2443 Wednesday, 7 Jan 2015 at 2:38pm

Having been an Auditor of Surf Clubs in both NSW and Qld the greatest waste of resources I have seen first hand financial evidence of is 'competition equipment' ... from crazy half share ownership arrangements with surf equipment (i.e. boards and skis) through to IRB's, motors and surf boats.

I mean, FFS, why does the club pay for competition gear? Surely, this should be a cost of the competitor, just like any other sport? Does the local board riders club supply the surfboards for their competitors? I don't see the local soccer club supply boots for free to the players ...

I formed the opinion many years ago, having seen that waste, that the surf clubs get enough money to operate their 'community life saving efforts' and have the gear needed; especially since most local councils help them in this regard.

If they want to raise money for their competition gear, great. But, be honest when you rattle the tin or ask for donations as to where the money goes! Or, geez, I dunno, maybe they could get some sponsorship and save hassling us in the shopping centres and at traffic lights.

Now, I also posted a comment earlier and just worked out where it went. It's gone as a reply to comment I used in the quote, so is back on page one of the comments, so here it is from a cut and paste:

"fredflintstone wrote: ... lifeguards have a legal requirement to set a “safe” swim area, that is safe as possible from the probable risks. One of these “risks” under laws of the council and common law is surf craft. ..."

I'm a little late to this discussion, so sorry, but I'm going back to the first page of comments with that quote ... BUT, this is EXACTLY the issue (and it's link with negligence) that is often overlooked. It is also, would you believe, the solution?

If a surfer is already in the water, surfing a "peak" or bank, THEN the person "setting the flags" for that area surely MUST take into account the surf craft and likely event(s) and use of that area for the period which the flags are to be set. To tell the surfers to leave the area just because they set the flags is where the whole issue hinges. Once the surf craft risk is taken into account, and viewed on the a basis of who was using the area first, then the flagging area MUST be set elsewhere. It's not hard for the "flags to be set" up the beach a few hundred metres. If no where else "safe" ... don't set the flags. Simple.

If no surfers in the water, but it is obviously a surfable wave and location / area for the prevailing conditions, think through the likely events of the day, remove all risk of a surfing in the "flagged area" by NOT SETTING THE FLAGS THERE! Simple.

I believe cases have been won (by way of out of court settlements so not fully reported) by using the core of the issue described above. (i.e. negligence argued based upon surf craft risk over the course of the day was sufficient to reach an agreement of settlement out of court ... cases against surf clubs and councils settled and paid partly by insurance and partly by council / slsa)

So, it begs the question, is it worth the hassle for the "flag setter" or patrolling surf life saving volunteer, or even employed life guard, when all it takes is a simple process of 'shifting the flags'? The simple solution seems to be that the 'flagged area' gets moved if there are surfable waves there ...

nick3's picture
nick3's picture
nick3 Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 at 8:01am

Yeah. Fuck the clubbies off as we need to go back to natural selection and if you need help or drowning back luck, Survive or die that how it should be.
While we are there piss off all organised sport because I am sick of tired of getting held up by traffic created from parents taking kids to sport on the weekends.
Worst of all fuck those ridiculous board rider clubs who come down and take over the best bank that you have been on since sunrise so egotistic, self centred posers can hold each other dicks and tell each other how good they are.
At the end of the day no one should be doing any other sport except just being a surfer as being rounded and involved in other activities just makes you a kook and loser.
How dare those clubbies set the flag on a decent bank when there is generally a good deep hole or gutter either side of the bank that gets you out the back even quicker. Bloody idiots.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 at 8:02am

Like chickens voting for KFC is Nick3 trumpeting natural selection.

Rjb's picture
Rjb's picture
Rjb Thursday, 8 Jan 2015 at 8:01pm

Interesting discussion. Maybe we need to separate those who run SLSA from those who serve at our local beach each weekend. I know lots of the clubbier at our local beach in a town of only 3000 people and they don't donate their time for ego or rewards. A lot of them are surfers too. And if we want to discuss the clubbies closing prime surfing banks, let's talk about the knobs who run surfing clubs and competitions. Back in the 70s the Newcastle contest was held at Merewether reef on the best day of the year, shutting out all of us regulars. Or my local club here on the south coast of NSW where I now live who closed down the only surf able reef in a southerly for a club comp. Or the Christian ( that's a laugh ) Surfers who rolled up to our local beach and told my 14 year old son and his mates they would confiscate their boards if they strayed into the comp area. So as others have said there's dickheads on both sides, it's not all black and white.

nick3's picture
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nick3 Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 8:17am

Rjb, Was that Golf Course Reef this year and it was really big day? I was down there and yes that was the place to be surfing.
The people who run SLSA do rort the system and give fuck all back to the clubs. The local clubs know this and despise them for it. So pleas try and separate SLSA from the local clubs.
I have also seen the aggressive side of local surfing clubs. To really piss them off just refuse to move and smile & wave when they are calling you in.
I am talking about surfing clubs not surf clubbies.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 8:12am

What powers do the clubbies have if you refuse to leave an outer bank in a flagged area?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 12:46pm

Of course not all clubs are equal......or appreciate equality for that matter.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/palm-beach--the-richest-surf-club-in-sydney-20...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 2:04pm

Fuck me.

mick-free's picture
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mick-free Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 3:14pm

Quality those blokes at Palm Beach SLSC. They invented the word POG when women joined the Life Saving Clubs. Mix between Pig and Dog.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 3:16pm

Rule 16.

That rules us out BB.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 3:59pm

A fascinating read! Wow.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 3:19pm

It's all white bread north of Newport zen. But this helps explain why the rich have no souls.

https://m.

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 3:23pm

So that's NOT the same palmy as the southern GC??

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 4:02pm

Ever watched Home and Away? Same beach (although, they revolve around the North Palmy SLSC, this one is at the southern end, in front of the section known as "Kiddies Corner").

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Friday, 9 Jan 2015 at 7:38pm

One has heard that Midget is possibly not on his own when rubbing shoulders with the palm beach surf club power brokers as revealed in the story posted by blindboy.

One very well known surfing Mcmovie maker is apparently often seen in that vicinity but that maybe because there are always such insane waves being ridden by the worlds best and cutting edge action often going down right out front

BTW sources down there say the lifeguards do not have access to the club facilities and use a small area in the local dressing shed/toilet block to conduct their duties which are responsible for the whole southern end of Palm Beach for five out of seven days

the-u-turn's picture
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the-u-turn Sunday, 11 Jan 2015 at 9:54am

As is often the case with free speech the discussion has changed tack with prevailing winds.

With respect to Duke's Day. It's now done and dusted, the fat lady has sung, the swags have been rolled up. Over the two days I didn't hear a bad word, and yes, biased as I am as one of many that have worked this for quite some time.

Corporate Coffers? I'm buggered to know who they are. Many, many local families put their hands in their pockets to make this work. We hosted Hawaiian's (I think 32 in all) into our homes and at our kitchen tables with our own children.

I'll leave the commentary to come from far better scribes than me (P Jarratt, N Carroll, T Baker, D Hynd, K Wilcox and many more) once the dust settles.

I did think it was nice having Bug's feel, as he relayed to me, 'embraced' while he was at Freshie. I don't think he has ever spoken less than what was on his mind.

To close, even the most hardened could not have been any less stoked than any other surfer on the beach seeing Duane DeSoto take on the role of Duke. When Derek Hynd, Rusty Miller, et.al are hooting it's pretty cool. The 'Sydney Morning Herald' has a great photo show on the iPad App.

I spent the evening with Brian Keaulana (yep, name dropping) and can assure you next time I paddle out on the west side or north shore I'll do it, as should many Australians, with some pride that we did not neglect this moment or opportunity in our country's history.

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 at 10:10pm

Well Uee, from what Mr Jarratt is saying on his new post there was some division in the ranks and it would appear from your posts you are one of those responsible for some, if not many, of the aspects of the event.
What say you?

the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn's picture
the-u-turn Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 at 11:28am

I think Schultz said it best,

Division in the ranks? Well we believe we had quite a few attend the event (I couldn't put a number on it). The dinner was sold out at 275, the back lawn drinks at 475 (with another 50 getting in) and I'd say a 'guesstimate' of 1500-2500 on the beach and around the event on Saturday. The 'Talk Story' I missed many of them unfortunately couldn't be everywhere at once. The dissenters I think could have formed a quorum of their own.

As alluded to the event was to mark a moment in history. Those with a bigger agenda have created something that was never there in our intent. Aloha

ljkarma's picture
ljkarma's picture
ljkarma Thursday, 15 Jan 2015 at 6:26pm

Sounds like you da man when one goes looking for the statistics as them is pretty big numbers your quoting here UEE so it is no stretch that some serious money was raised from the litany of events/stalls/dinners etc.
If Warringah Shire Council were major sponsors/supporters along side a large group of commercial business organisations the committee must have been overseeing a substantial budget. Being run/organised by not for profit and tax exempt community based groups like WSC and Freshwater Surf club, who got the dosh?
It would follow that in heralding such a big success some stats re the finances and who were the beneficiaries would be par for the course as that might answer some of the confusion that some of us hold as to who got paid what. Nothing wrong with what was or wasn't paid to whom for what, but if it is a community based effort for the communities benefit then should be made public or at least available for public dissemination

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nickcarroll Monday, 9 Feb 2015 at 3:02pm

Well I went along and did my bit and didn't get paid a cent lj, indeed I paid full price for dinner tickets etc along with everyone else. At $125 a pop for cocktails and dinner at that ex St Patricks place, that seemed pretty standard.

I dunno who would have made any money out of the weekend itself, maybe the stall guy who was selling pies?

Like the whole public thing was totally free to whomever showed up and all the panel people paid their own way if they had to travel to get there.

The whole thing was so not a big deal, it was very low profile and none of it reeked of the kind of ghastly buffoonery you tend to see at events where some bunch of councillors or whomever have got hold of too much cash for their own good. In fact it was very relaxed and if anything, felt amazingly under-promoted; it felt like most people at the beach that weekend were there just to go swimming or surfing and the Duke thing all just happened alongside a normal weekend at Freshie.

I imagine they might have spent a bit flying out and accommodating Duane, Fred, Paul and Joey, but I assume you don't begrudge them that honour.

I dunno, I could be off base here, but your posts on this subject feel a bit weird, like you're pissed off about something else and aiming it at this. But I bet you can find ways of accessing the costs incurred by the Council in their minutes? Everything they spend is on some public record. The surf club, you'll have to ask them I guess.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Sunday, 8 Feb 2015 at 10:49am
southey's picture
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southey Monday, 9 Feb 2015 at 3:26pm

i was going to mention this long ago in this thread , but felt i didn't have the longevity of authority to raise it .;-))
A long time ago when i frequently surfed populated (but still reasonably treacherous) , rip banks at a few well known VIC beaches . I reckon i saw and participated in more rescues of swimmers , unfit / nieve surfers and tourists than what Life savers did by atleast a factor of 4-5 ..........

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Sunday, 8 Feb 2015 at 11:03am

Denmark SLSC in WA about to expand massively and add a cafe and restaurant - on a beach with no other visible buildings ? They patrol for 4 months a year and are trying to stop fishoes from beach launching in the point side channel even though there has never been an accident and they themselves routinely drive their duck through the flagged area.

City beach in Perth already has a massive complex including a restaurant and a cafe and is about to add THREE new restaurants. Premium dining so they say, so the free beach is now the domain of the wealthy.

Go SLSC Australia ! ( Selling Leases and Socialising Costs Australia )