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The 2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Premiership Series kicked off at Stockton Beach this weekend.​

In small surf, 23 clubs got their engines running to see how they measure up against each other ahead of the next three rounds and the State and Australian Championships.

On the first weekend since patrols finished in NSW, the IRB racing teams were keen to hit the water for 118 races.

Stockton SLSC President Callan Nickerson said, “The ability for a small club like ours to host and deliver an important carnival is not just good for our beach but our community. They’re one hundred per cent behind what we do as a club. We had a lot of people down here watching and everyone had a great weekend.”

“Our club has been competitive in IRB racing for five years now and we love that our members are up-skilling and becoming such great crew and drivers. IRBs are inherent to our core business, lifesaving, so to have people that love being out in the surf and are very competent and responsive to rescues makes our beach and community safer.”

Kiama Downs SLSC is one of the oldest IRB racing clubs in the state. This weekend they continued their success taking out the point score as well as a number of key divisions.

Nathan and wife Kathy Foster were the drivers for their teams who took out the Open Male and Female Race as well as the premier Open Mass Rescue finals.

Nathan said, “We love when IRB season comes around. We have a teammate who has been racing since 1984 and we have a long history of the sport in our club.

“We’ve brought up our smallest team in years with just 11 people so we didn’t expect to do as well as we have in the past, but to come away with such fantastic results against really big, strong clubs in round one is great."

Foster says success in the sport isn’t about how much money you have to spend on gear, “There’s not just one thing that makes you a good team. It’s speed, time, good maintenance, consistency, being able to adjust your speed and technique to different swells and being able to do it all under pressure in a race."

Kiama Downs prides itself on the strength of its IRB drivers and crew in helping keep their beaches safe too. “The difference between and IRB racer and those who haven’t raced is huge. We develop super fast response times to incidents. That difference in time and skill could potentially save a life out in the water. It’s one of the most relevant surf sports to developing good patrol members in our organisation. It teaches you teamwork and the ability to move and act fast under the pump.”

The 2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership heads to The Lakes SLSC on the Central Coast for Round Two on 18-19 May.

Races in the 2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series include;

  • IRB Rescue

  • IRB Mass Rescue

  • IRB Teams Rescue

  • IRB Rescue Tube

  • IRB Relay

At the end of the four-event rounds, the club with the top points will be awarded the title of NSW Premiers.

*2 November 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary since IRBs were introduced to Surf Life Saving.

Overall Pointscore Round 1

  1. Kiama Downs

  2. Caves Beach

  3. Terrigal

  4. North Cronulla

  5. Queenscliff

  6. Coogee

  7. Forster

  8. Newcastle

  9. South Maroubra, Thirroul, Woonona

  10. Newport

  11. Umina

  12. North Avoca

  13. Nobbys

  14. Bondi

  15. Ocean Beach

  16. Maroubra

  17. Avalon Beach

  18. Bungan Beach, Helensburgh-Stanwell Park, Stockton

Race Results Round 1

  • 35+ Mixed Rescue Tube: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Caves Beach, 3 Coogee

  • Open Male Rescue Tube: 1 Caves Beach, 2 Kiama Downs, 3 Queenscliff

  • Open Female Rescue Tube: 1 Caves Beach, 2 Caves Beach, 3 North Cronulla

  • 45+ Mixed Rescue Tube: 1 Newcastle, 2 Coogee, 3 Caves Beach

  • U23 Mixed Rescue Tube: 1 Thirroul, 2 Terrigal, 3 North Cronulla

  • Open Mixed Relay: 1 North Cronulla, 2 Terrigal, 3 Caves Beach

  • Rookie Mass Rescue: 1 North Avoca, 2 Coogee, 3 Woonona

  • U23 Mixed Mass Rescue: 1 Woonona, 2 Terrigal, 3 Umina

  • Open Mass Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 South Maroubra, 3 Terrigal

  • 45+ Mixed IRB Mass Rescue: 1 Umina, 2 Caves Beach, 3 Terrigal

  • Open Female Mass Rescue: 1 North Cronulla, 2 Queenscliff, 3 Kiama Downs

  • 35+ Mixed Mass Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Forster, 3 Queenscliff

  • 35+ Mixed Teams Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Forster, 3 North Avoca

  • Open Male Teams Rescue: 1 Queenscliff, 2 Woonona, 3 North Cronulla

  • Open Female Teams Rescue: 1 North Cronulla, 2 Terrigal, 3 Caves Beach

  • 45+ Mixed Teams Rescue: 1 Terrigal, 2 Umina

  • U23 Mixed Teams Rescue: 1 Newcastle, 2 Terrigal, 3 Nobbys

  • U23 Mixed Surf Race: 1 South Maroubra, 2 Thirroul, 3 Queenscliff

  • Open Mixed Rookie Surf Rescue: 1 Caves Beach, 2 Umina, 3 North Avoca

  • 35+ Mixed IRB Surf Race: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 Forster, 3 Queenscliff

  • 45+ Surf Rescue: 1 Newcastle, 2 Coogee, 3 Terrigal

  • Open Male Rescue: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 North Cronulla, 3 Queenscliff

  • Open Female Surf Race: 1 Kiama Downs, 2 North Cronulla, 4 North Cronulla

2019 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Rounds

NSW IRB State Championships: 29-30 June 2019 Cape Hawke SLSC


Sunday 5 May 2019