NSW Lifesavers Race Against Country's Best

After a thrilling conclusion to the NSW IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) season, crews have been preparing to take on the nation’s fastest surf lifesavers at the 2017 Interstate and Australian IRB Championships starting Friday on the NSW Far North Coast.

A massive three days of racing hosted by Cudgen Headland SLSC will begin with the Interstate Championships kicking off on Friday morning and the Australian Championships to follow and continue over the weekend.

The 18 strong NSW Interstate team announced last month are on track to knock their northern rivals off top spot. The blues will have confidence knowing that their results in the last two years have improved significantly.

As hosts, NSW will again field a Development squad with the up and coming athletes racing alongside the interstate teams, however no points will be counted.

A strong representation from Kiama Downs SLSC will bolster their chances to win the Interstate title with the South Coast club coming off a dominant NSW IRB season.

The club will be hoping to continue their form into the Australian Championships as they narrowly missed out last year to North Burleigh SLSC.

A total of 216 surf lifesavers from 14 NSW surf clubs will be racing in the Australian Championships with Kiama Downs and Caves Beach the best chance.

“It’s a bit more open this year with current Australian Champions North Burleigh not having their strongest year but anything could happen this weekend,” Kiama Downs IRB Captain Nathan Foster said.

Surf Life Saving NSW Sports Manager, Rob Pidgeon says NSW clubs performed exceptionally well throughout the Premiership and NSW Championships and is confident that they can bring that form to Cudgen Headland.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how the NSW crews compete this weekend. They’ve worked very hard to get to this point so we wish them the best of luck,” Rob Pidgeon said.

“Our Interstate team have trained well and we expect solid results. The growth in our sport over the last few years has been amazing and giving our younger lifesavers a chance to compete as part of the Interstate Development Team is a bonus.”

The IRB Interstate Championships is set to kick off on Friday 14 July at 7:30am with the Australian Championships to follow at 10:30am and continue on both Saturday and Sunday.

NSW Clubs competing at the Australian IRB Championships:

Catherine Hill Bay SLSC, Caves Beach SLSC, Coogee SLSC, Cudgen Headland SLSC, Forster SLSC, Kiama Downs SLSC, Nobbys SLSC, North Cronulla SLSC, Queenscliff SLSC, South Maroubra SLSC, Terrigal SLSC, Thirroul SLSC, Wamberal SLSC and Woonona SLSC.

Live results will be published via Surf Life Saving Australia’s website.

Photo: The 2016 NSW Interstate Team celebrating their podium finish at Mollymook SLSC.

Thu 13 Jul 2017