Kiama Downs Crowned Champions

Kiama Downs SLSC has put on a dominant display to claim their second NSW IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Championship in a row at South West Rocks SLSC over the weekend.

The South Coast club took out the State title finishing on 92 points ahead of closest rivals Caves Beach (71) with South Maroubra (37) impressively claiming the final spot on the podium.

It was a comprehensive victory by the small Kiama Downs team winning 10 out of the 19 events throughout the two days of racing.

Kiama Downs IRB Captain Nathan Foster says the club is very happy to achieve the goals they set.

“It was always a goal of ours but more hope than an expectation. We couldn’t be happier especially with the 21 point margin,” Nathan Foster said.

“We didn’t know the final results until it was announced at the presentation ceremony. It was pretty satisfying to find out we’d won as everyone puts in a lot of hard work each year.

“We’ve been pretty good with injuries and have kept the team together. We also have better depth than we ever have before and it’s pleasing to see if one crew doesn’t go so well there’s always another team in the mix.”

Nine of the gold medal performances came from three dominant wins each in the 35+ Mixed, Open Female and Open Male events. The weekend was capped off with their final victory coming in the Open Mixed IRB Relay.

Caves Beach proved they have some of the best crews in NSW with their U23 Mixed team blitzing their opponents in all four formats.

Third placed South Maroubra put in a memorable effort in turning their form around after finishing 11th in the Premiership Series. The Sydney club claimed line honours in the 35+ Mixed Tube and made multiple visits to the podium across the weekend.

Woonona flew the flag for the Illawarra with impressive wins in the Open Male Teams and Rookie Mixed Rescue events while Coogee was too good in the Rookie Mixed Mass race.

Despite a dominant performance from Kiama Downs in the Open Female events, Catherine Hill Bay showed their class in the Open Female Tube event to claim gold.

The focus for NSW crews now turns to the Interstate and Australian Championships coming up at Cudgen Headland on 14-16 July.

The NSW team will be out to defeat their northern rivals who have had a strong hold on the Interstate Trophy for a number of years. While Kiama Downs will be chasing North Burleigh and recent QLD Champions Kurrawa to be crowned the best in the country.

“Our drive starts again in eight days to head up to Cudgen Headland for the Interstate and Australian Championships. We’ll train this weekend, check our gear then get up there and see what we can do,” Nathan Foster concluded.

Surf Life Saving NSW Sports Manager, Rob Pidgeon says he’s very thankful to South West Rocks SLSC for hosting a great event.

“The conditions were on our side over the weekend and South West Rocks proved once again to be a fantastic host for such events,” Rob Pidgeon said.

“Congratulations to Kiama Downs SLSC, they thoroughly deserve their victory and we wish all our NSW crews the best of luck at the Australian Championships.

“This IRB season has been outstanding thanks to all involved who made it possible and we look forward to welcoming more surf lifesavers to be part of the sport in the future.”

The Interstate Championships kick off on Friday 14 July with the Australian Championships beginning in the afternoon and continuing over the weekend at Cudgen Headland SLSC.

Download the 2017 NSW IRB Championships results

View photos from the 2017 NSW IRB Championships via Facebook.

Photo: Kiama Downs celebrating their NSW IRB Championships victory.

Mon 3 Jul 2017