The hours of slogging it out on the water in the chill of an early morning have been ticked off, the highly-tuned motors have been cleaned, the competitor’s bags are about to be packed, and it’s all for this moment; the final round of the 2018 NSW Sharkskin IRB Premiership Series.
This weekend a hardy bunch of more than 300 competitors will make the journey to Caves Beach for what promises to be a thrilling two-days of Inflatable Rescue Boat racing.
Although the State and National Championships are yet to be held it is the challenge of being consistent over a series of meetings that really stokes the competitive fire of those souls who count themselves as members of the IRB family.
Thanks to the intervention of Mother Nature that forced Round 3 at Umina Beach to be cancelled, it’s been nearly a month since the IRB crews were last able to enjoy a competitive race.
And there is a feeling that something very special will happen this weekend when the competitors are finally unleashed.
Hosts Caves Beach SLSC will be out to make history and crown their season to remember on their own break.
Another strong performance in these familiar waters will be enough to see it declared overall winners of the Premiership Series, ending a 6-year-winning streak compiled by Kiama Downs SLSC.
Rivals on the beach, but friends off it, 2018 has been somewhat of a rebuilding year for the South Coast powerhouse.
The defending champions have managed to overcome the loss of a number of experienced competitors this season, and their results thus far, barring a dramatic final round, should ensure a top-two finish.
From there it’s anyone guess with a chasing pack consisting of Terrigal, Queenscliff, North Cronulla, Woonona, and South Maroubra keen to make their mark.
In the rest of the field the teams from Bilgola, Bungan Beach, and Mona Vale are unavailable for this weekend’s competition due to other commitments, while Stockton SLSC will make their return.
This weekend marks the fourth time that Caves Beach SLSC has hosted a Premiership Round in its current format, with the club very much looking forward to welcoming competitors from across the state.
“In the past we’ve held the opening round of the season so it makes a nice change for us to be able to hold the last round of the series,” said Troy Grieves Competition Manager for Caves Beach SLSC.
“Preparations have been going really well and the beach looks great. The forecast at the moment is for 1.2 metres of swell so hopefully it will hold steady and we can get a good weekend of racing.
“It’s been a fantastic season for our club with our very young team performing especially well in the U23 races. Some are now making their mark in open competition so it’s certainly exciting to watch them perform on their home beach,” he said.
If this winner-takes-all competition isn’t enough to whet the appetite, this weekend also marks one final opportunity for the competitors to put their names at the forefront of the minds of the selectors before the NSW IRB Interstate team to travel to Thirroul next month is announced in the coming weeks.
The following clubs will be competing in Round 4 of the 2018 NSW Sharkskin IRB Premiership Series;
Avalon Beach SLSC, Catherine Hill Bay SLSC, Caves Beach SLSC, Coogee SLSC, Cooks Hill SLSC, Forster SLSC, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC, Kiama Downs SLSC, Maroubra SLSC, Newcastle SLSC, Newport SLSC, Nobbys SLSC, North Avoca SLSC, North Cronulla SLSC, Ocean Beach SLSC, Queenscliff SLSC, Soldiers Beach SLSC, South Maroubra SLSC, Stockton SLSC, Terrigal SLSC, Thirroul SLSC, Umina SLSC, Woonona SLSC
Racing at Caves Beach on Saturday 16 June is slated to commence from 8am AEST
Please Click Here for further information about the 2018 NSW Sharkskin IRB Premiership Series
Thursday 14 June 2018