Former Sydney surf boat coach Ben Gill is restarting the Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club surf boat crew program

SURF BOAT RESTART: Former Sydney surf boat coach Ben Gill is restarting the Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club surf boat crew program. Photo: Supplied.
SURF BOAT RESTART: Former Sydney surf boat coach Ben Gill is restarting the Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club surf boat crew program. Photo: Supplied.

Camden Haven Surf Life Saving Club is undergoing a complete overhaul as expert coach Ben Gill restarts the surf boat crew program for competition.

Mr Gill is moving to North Haven after being recognised for unwavering commitment and support of rowers with Bilgola Surf Life Saving Club at Bilgola Beach in northern Sydney.

At Bilgola he was named rower of the year at the 2020 Surf Boat Awards and has previously claimed the same title in the 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017 seasons.

He was named Club Person of the Year in 2013, Club Champion in 2005, IRB Person of the Year in 2013 and awarded Long Service.

In the 2020 season he was the sweep for the under 23 ladies, reserve mens and 200+ masters surfboats.

"My main objective is to get a junior crew of under 19s boys and girls together, and be supportive of trying to reestablish the boat section here," Mr Gill said.

"The club currently has two older model south coast boats ,the newest boat was last seen in competition in 1999. I've secured a boat from Collaroy in Sydney and donated gear.

"I've been coaching for more than 20 years and taken a lot of younger crews through to competition from scratch.

"Surf boat competition is very competitive but it can be as successful you want it to be and how hard you want to work for it.

"I could take the easy option to slide into somewhere established, walk in and everything is set up. I want to go to Camden Haven because I believe the more clubs with crews and the more boats competing, the better it will be for the area."

SURF BOAT CREW: Surf boat coach Ben Gill acting as sweep for Bilgola. Photo: Supplied.

SURF BOAT CREW: Surf boat coach Ben Gill acting as sweep for Bilgola. Photo: Supplied.

Mr Gill has recently moved to North Haven, but previously completed his bronze medallion at the Wauchope Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club in 1977.

"Obviously we will interact with each other as clubs and have more of a club friendship, maybe down the track then we could have a small rivalry between the crews," he said.

"The focus is just to get us to that level, get our name out there and get a reputation for being a strong club in the surf boats.

"We definitely want to be on the water from Christmas onwards and have the view be racing with a boat in the water at most carnivals before the following 2022/2023 season."