THE annual Trans-Tasman Series will return to local shores in 2020 with an experienced and confident Australian team looking to keep the Trans-Tasman Trophy on Australian soil for another year.
All teams were on deck in Sydney to receive their green and gold blazers at SLSA head office on Thursday before making their way to Mollymook Beach to compete.
Former Wallabies lock and sports media personality Peter FitzSimons and Captain Benjamin Hurst from the Royal Australian Navy were in attendance to speak to the group and present their prestigious blazers.
"For me, there was nothing ever better than representing Australia," FitzSimons said.
"My warmest congratulations to every member of the Australian Surfboat Team for their selection, it's absolutely fantastic.
"I wish that the team win, but most of all, I hope they have fun and do honour for Australia."
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Both open male and open female crews selected to represent Australia will make their second appearance in the green and gold.
The Northcliffe'Krankitz' will become the first open capped team to represent the Australian Surfboat Team in back to back years, while also claiming the 2019 Australian Title.
Staking their claim as the best female surfboat team in the nation, Northcliffe will once again look to claim a head-to-head glory against Titahi Bay following a 2-1 victory in last year's Trans-Tasman test.
Australia Surfboat Team captain Sara Western, from BMD Northcliffe, said that receiving the green and gold blazer was an incredibly special moment that originated from the hard work the team put in.
"It's incredible, it's a really proud moment for me," Westen said.
"We've put in a lot of work getting ready for the ASRL Open this weekend.
"We trained really hard up to the trials and then we had a little bit of time off over Christmas just to recoup a little bit.
"We got stuck into training in January and we've been going pretty hard ever since then and we're really feeling well prepared for the weekend."
'Bulli Gold' will join the 'Krankitz'in the open ranks after they previously represented the Australian Surfboat Team in 2015.
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Shane Geloven's crew have consistently been one of the best crews in the country over a number of years, claiming wins in both the Australian Titles and ASRL Open to their names.
After narrowly missing out on Australian team selection in the past couple of years, Bulli will look to beat the New Zealand crew from Muriwai in their best of three match races on Saturday.
Australian Surfboat Team manager Greg Heard expressed his excitement around the event as a whole as well as having home ground advantage against their rivals from across the ditch.
"We definitely see it over in New Zealand where the whole beach really stands up and gets behind their crews," Heard said.
"You can definitely feel the energy over there and its something that we hope we can replicate here in Australia.
"To have the whole beach cheering you back to shore is a huge advantage as the home nation.
"With 350 crews down in Mollymook to compete in the ASRL Open it will be a great spectacle for the Trans-Tasman Test on Saturday and great racing across the entire weekend."
The under 23 female division will see the North Cronulla 'Funky's' make their second consecutive appearance in the green and gold.
This marks the fourth straight year that North Cronulla has had a representative team in the under 23 division.
Orewa Beach will prove tough competition for the U23 girls after previously representing New Zealand in 2018.
Rob Lowery swept his open male crew to Australian team representation in 2018 and will return with his under 23 colts crew from South Curl Curl.
The South Curl Curl team narrowly made it through a gruelling selection day race-off to confirm their place in the green and gold squad.
South Curl Curl will be pitted against Whangamata in Saturday's Trans-Tasman Competition.
The Trans-Tasman Test will begin with opening ceremony from 11:00am (AEDT) Saturday, February 15 prior to national teams racing.
Australian Surfboat Teams
BMD Northcliffe: Rachel Clayphan, Jennifer, Davis, Shannon Grimsey, Sara Western and Damien Clayphan.
Bulli: Ben Lowe, Heath Mercer, Dean Roberts, Fraser Worthington and Shane Geloven.
Under 23 Pathway Australian Surfboat Teams
North Cronulla: Katlynn Coglan, Alysha Lerond, Maggie Mahoney, Hayley Urquhart and Mark McDonald
South Curl Curl: Brady Holland, Sam Lowery, Kris Martyn, Owen Sheather and Rob Lowery.