SHOALHAVEN City Council has thrown its support behind a group of rowers from the Mollymook Surf Club taking part in the G100, a surfboat event at Gallipoli, to mark the centenary of Anzac next April.
Council has donated $10,000 towards the venture.
Mollymook Surf Club vice-president John Patterson said three crews of 12, including three female members, will fly the local flag in Turkey.
“We have been planning the trip to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Anzac for a fair while and with this generous support from Shoalhaven City Council it will become a reality,” he said.
Team members have financed their own trips to Turkey, costing $8000 each.
The group has also purchased the boat, named in memory of Norm Turnbull from the Mollymook Surf Club.
It has been refitted, repainted and includes the names of a number of Milton and Ulladulla servicemen who gave their lives in World War I.
“It is a way for us to pay tribute to not only the local servicemen but all servicemen who gave up their lives or fought for our country,” Mr Patterson said.
“We have had some great backing from locals who have donated money, including some relatives of the deceased service personnel whose names are on the boat and also businesses and individuals who have supported our efforts.
“We are not only rowing for ourselves but all of the Shoalhaven.”
It was originally planned to have 100 surfboats take part in a 100km event to commemorate the centenary.
“That has been wound back a bit. I think there are around 30 boats taking part in the event to be held over seven stages,” Mr Paterson said.
The legs will range in length from seven to 12 kilometres.
The boat will leave in December and after the event will be donated to the burgeoning surf lifesaving movement in Turkey.
“Surf lifesaving was launched over there about four years ago after a visit from some Australian members and it has taken off,” Mr Paterson said.
“So we are all leaving our boats over there and the various clubs can make use of them.”