NSW Rubber Duckie Racers Out For Glory

State pride will be on the line at the annual Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Interstate Championships, where the NSW team will be hoping to achieve what their rugby league and netball counterparts could not – defeat Queensland on their home turf.

The one-day representative competition kicks-off on Friday at Queensland’s Mooloolaba Beach. In what promises to be a pulsating finish to the IRB racing season, the Australian Titles are also being held at the same venue immediately following the championship.

After finishing third in 2014 behind Victoria and defending champions Queensland, the 2015 team are quietly confident of achieving a successful result.

“Our preparation has been great, morale amongst the group is stronger than ever and everyone is determined to put everything into trying to achieve what we all want, which is victory,” Coach Nathan Foster said.

“We have selected a team with a good blend of youth and experience and we are determined as team to give this Interstate Championships a red hot go and represent NSW with everything we have.”

The coach who is also competing is hugely experienced at this level with this being his seventh campaign as a competitor and second as a coach. He said it is sometimes difficult to juggle the dual responsibility of a coach and athlete, but it is something enjoys as is the challenge of taking on Queensland on their home turf.

“The Queensland team is a strong unit and have been for many years. They benefit from warmer winter temperatures for training and competition, and also the fact that all their clubs use the same type of boat which makes team based races easier,” Mr Foster said.

“We will enjoy racing in the relative warmth of the Sunshine Coast, and need everyone in the NSW team to race at 100% and if they do, we will be in there with a strong chance.”

The NSW team have been put through their paces at two previous training sessions and will shortly travel to Queensland where they will fine-tune their preparations ahead of Friday’s competition.

Competition at the 2015 Interstate Championship gets underway at Mooloolaba Beach, Queensland on Friday July 17. The Australian titles will follow at the same venue where they will conclude on Sunday 19 July.

NSW IRB STATE TEAM

• Jacob Black - Catherine Hill Bay
• Max Gazzard – Catherine Hill Bay
• Nathan Foster – Kiama Downs
• Troy Kirkby – Kiama Downs
• Mitchell Lobston – Caves Beach
• Liam Kleyn - Caves Beach
• Mitchell Cardy – North Cronulla
• Corey Lewis – North Cronulla
• Blair Joynson – Kiama Downs
• Naida Guy – Kiama Downs
• Kirsty Honey – Kiama Downs
• Kathy Foster - Thirroul
• Bridgette Lockhart - Thirroul
• Nicole Lewis – Kiama Downs
• Kate Whittaker – Kiama Downs
• Jade Burke - Thirroul
• Rhianna Kevill – Catherine Hill Bay
• Emma Lockhart – Thirroul

TEAM MANAGEMENT

• Head Coach: Nathan Foster
• Assistant Coach: Steven Robson
• Team Manager: Steven Guy

Above: Competitors from Caves Beach SLSC in action during the 2015 IRB Premiership Series at Kiama Downs.

Photograph courtesy of Louis Tassone

Tue 14 Jul 2015