Tight At The Top In Rubber Ducky Premiership Series
The 2015 Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Premiership Series is set for a thrilling conclusion with the overall championship club set to be crowned on Sunday at Kiama Downs on the state’s south coast following two days of intense racing.
A total of 245 competitors from 20 clubs will take to the water in events designed to simulate real life rescue situations involving individual ‘patients’ and mass rescues.
All events are based on honing the skills of both IRB driver and crewperson and the fast-paced nature of the competition makes it a great day out for spectators.
Just 6 points separate the top four teams in the race to be crowned championship club in what is shaping up to be one of the closest finishes to an IRB Premiership Series in recent seasons.
With plenty of points on offer strong races from defending champions Kiama Downs, perennial threats Catherine Hill Bay, Caves Beach and North Cronulla could see any one of them crowned champions.
It has been a challenging winter for the state’s top IRB competitors with the weather a constant thorn in organisers’ sides across the three competitions thus far.
Round 1 at Caves Beach was relocated to Terrigal while rough conditions at Windang in Round 2 means that the remainder of the program will now take place this weekend.
Kiama Downs have become an IRB powerhouse in recent seasons, but team manager and competitor Steven Guy believes there isn’t any extra pressure for his club to clinch the title on their home beach.
“I like to think the local community is proud of what our small club has achieved, and I think it will be great to showcase our sport on our home beach. We’ve had a good start to the season, and with conditions not being favourable in the first two rounds of the season it was good to be able to get on the water at Terrigal,” Mr Guy said.
“We are lucky enough to have a very passionate and dedicated team that performs consistently well across the different event categories and classifications. New members joining the team bring a fresh outlook and assist with reenergizing the team every year.”
As well as vouchers as prizes there will be two IRB engines up for grabs this weekend thanks to the support of Tohatsu Australia – one engine will be presented to the overall premiership winner, with the second going to the “most deserving club.”
This award is aimed at encouraging smaller clubs and those new to the sport to enter the state’s premier IRB racing event.
There’s a lot at stake for the competitors individually as well with the race marking the last chance for athletes to impress the selectors ahead of the NSW IRB Interstate team being named next week.
It’s also an opportunity for the teams to fine-tune preparations ahead of the NSW IRB State Championships to be held in Mollymook later this month.
The 2015 IRB Premiership Series concludes this Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 June at Kiama Downs with competition slated to get underway at 8am AEST conditions permitting.
Photograph: Action from the 2014 IRB Premiership Series, courtesy of Rachel Fenwick Images.
Fri 12 Jun 2015