Points will be at a premium this weekend as a hardy bunch of Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) racers make the trek to Umina on the state’s Central Coast for the penultimate round of the 2018 NSW Sharkskin Premiership Series.
Following Round 2 held a fortnight ago at The Lakes SLSC, Caves Beach has opened up a narrow lead atop of overall standings ahead of defending six-time-champions Kiama Downs.
Such is the vagaries of IRB racing though it’s still a very open competition with Terrigal, Queenscliff, North Cronulla, and Woonona among a host of contenders in the pack aiming to keep the pressure on the powerhouse duo.
A push on encouraging clubs to get their members interested in the thrill of IRB racing continues to pay dividends with over 300 competitors set to take to the start line for the third successive round.
Only Stockton will be absent from the teams who participated in Round 2 due to other commitments, while Bilgola and Mona Vale will make their series return this weekend
Umina’s Paul Sharpe who is the club’s Director of Lifesaving and alongside his father John one of the chief organisers for the event is confident that it will be a success.
“Planning has been going exceptionally well. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase the Central Coast and our little town of Umina to our friends from around the state.
“It’s the first time we’ve hosted an IRB Carnival so it’s something new and exciting for us after previously having some experience hosting the State Championships of surf sports.
“All we need now is for Mother Nature to cooperate and we will certainly be keeping our fingers crossed,” Mr Sharpe said.
Boasting one of the more inexperienced teams in the competition, Sharpe said the weekend’s chance for the hometown club to learn from some of the top competitors in the state.
“We have a relatively young team but the standard of racing and driving has been of the highest quality this season, and that’s a real credit to all of the athletes and officials.”
“From our perspective, it’s fantastic for us to offer IRB on the schedule once again. We had a crack at it in the very early days of competition and enjoyed some success in the mid-80s, but now we can have a team across every type of competition in surf sports, which is great for our club,” said Mr Sharpe.
“I truly believe IRB racing is one of the few disciplines that every lifesaver on the beach can get in and have a go because the skills are so relevant to what they need in the summer.
“It’s shaping up to be a fantastic weekend of racing and I’m delighted that we have been chosen to host it on our beach.”
With a potential strong swell building off the coast, all eyes will keep a very close look on the weather forecast over the next 48 hours with event organisers having a number of contingency options available to them should they be required.
The following clubs will be competing in Round 3 of the 2018 NSW Sharkskin IRB Premiership Series;
Avalon Beach SLSC, Bilgola SLSC Bungan 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, Mona Vale SLSC, Newcastle SLSC, Newport SLSC, Nobbys SLSC, North Avoca SLSC, North Cronulla SLSC, Ocean Beach SLSC, Queenscliff SLSC, Soldiers Beach SLSC, South Maroubra SLSC, Terrigal SLSC, Thirroul SLSC, Umina SLSC, Woonona SLSC
Racing at Umina Beach on Saturday 2 June is slated to commence from 8am AEST
Further information about the event and series can be found here
Thursday 31 May 2018