This weekend will see the first IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) racing event hit the water in two years. With 300 surf lifesavers raring to go, it will be a highly competitive two days to kick off the 2021 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series.
The first event of the season will see 17 club teams from six NSW branches taking to the surf with speed and precision for the start of the Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series, hosted at Terrigal SLSC on the Central Coast this weekend.
The gun Kiama Downs SLSC team took out back-to-back wins in the last Sharkskin Premiership in 2019 with a narrow four-point lead as well as the State Championships that season.
The south coast club has a strong rivalry with Caves Beach SLSC with the two clubs taking turns at the top of the State Championships and Premierships series over the last decade. But it’s been 18 months since their last race so anything could happen in 2021.
Steve Strong led the Kiama Downs team through the last dual winning season and said his team of 20 is feeling good, fit and ready to get back on the line.
“Everyone is really keen to get back out there,” said Strong. “There are some clubs with big teams entered. We have about the same numbers as last time and feel like we can give it a shake against the bigger teams. Our boats feel good and we’ve spent time fine-tuning race setup and gear.”
Strong said despite feeling ready there is still a lot of unknowns around all the new younger crews.
“The time off has given everyone the chance to spend lots of time on development. Thirroul and Terrigal have some good new young crews and we have a couple of strong Under 23 male and female crews so it will be really interesting to see how everything unfolds for round one,” he said.
IRB racing is the opportunity for drivers and crew to develop and hone vital rescue skills in simulated scenarios under pressure. The out-of-season sport also provides the opportunity for lifesavers to keep fit and connected throughout winter.
2021 Participating Clubs:
Avalon Beach SLSC, Bondi SBLSC, Bungan Beach SLSC, Caves Beach SLSC, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park SLSC, Kiama Downs SLSC, Maroubra SLSC, Mona Vale SLSC, Newport SLSC, Nobbys SLSC, North Avoca SLSC, North Cronulla SLSC, Ocean Beach SLSC, Queenscliff SLSC, South Maroubra SLSC, Terrigal SLSC, Thirroul SLSC
Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership rounds
- Round 1: 15-16 May, Terrigal SLSC (Central Coast)
- Round 2: 29-30 May, Cape Hawke SLSC (Lower North Coast)
- Round 3: 12-13 June, Warilla Barrack Point SLSC (South Coast)
- Round 4: 26-27 June, Ocean Beach SLSC (Central Coast)
NSW IRB Championships: 10-11 July, South West Rocks SLSC (Mid North Coast)
- IRB Rescue
- IRB Mass Rescue
- IRB Teams Rescue
- IRB Rescue Tube
- IRB Relay
Male and Female Divisions:
- Rookie (first 2 years driving/over 18 years old)
- Under 23