In 1984-85, a group of City’s female lifesavers – Bronwen Scott, Laura Wenman, Belinda Bennett and Jodi Morris – formed Australia’s first women’s boat crew, an experiment which as well as setting an example in initiative and courage for their younger peers and for women from other clubs, brought City of Perth a considerable amount of publicity, with media coverage which extended to the glossy national magazines. Scott later wrote that
Rowing a surf boat would have to be the hardest physical activity I’ve ever done in my life… I will never forget the first time we actually competed in a carnival. It was at Sorrento Beach, and there had been a fair amount of publicity about us prior to the day. I don’t know whether it was because we were so nervous, but there seemed to be so many people watching us and taking phtos. I wondered to myself “Why am I doing this?” more than once as we prepared for the race… Finally, the gun went and we were off. I don’t remember much about the actual race, except for the pain I was feeling. When we finally finished, I remember just falling out of the boat and lying on the sand, literally unable to move for a good ten minutes. My forearms had all swollen up and it was really painful… All the guys from the club were there to help carry the boat up, as we were unable to do anything… I think they were pretty proud of us actually managing to finish the race. A lot of them said afterwards they had thought we wouldn’t make it.