The world’s best IRB racers showed their stuff at the BP IRB North Island Championships in Waihi on the weekend

Posted by Administrator on Monday, February 18, 2019

The Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) club whose teams won the inaugural World Championship IRB title in Australia late last year, showed their stuff in the weekend, with a convincing win at the BP IRB North Island Championships at Waihi. 

Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service brought a massive 12 crews to the event, and won the top point score after two tough days of competition on Saturday February 16 and Sunday 17, earning 179 points.

The next two clubs, Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club and Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club, took 63 and 62 points each, testing themselves fiercely against the world champs.

Overall about 58 IRB teams from 17 North Island Surf Life Saving Clubs took part in the day, facing big surf on the Inflatable Rescue Boats, which are used in about 80 per cent of Surf Life Saving NZ rescues. 

The teams put on a spectacular show, with good strong waves adding unpredictability and further challenge for the day, event manager Scott Bicknell said.

“Sunset Beach are a very strong club, and it was exciting seeing that skill they took to Aussie on show here in a tough competition,” he said. 

“New Zealand is known for our IRB racing, and Sunset [Beach] is the cream of the crop, but our other clubs also have some serious skills that they put on show too. It was a great day of technical racing. “

IRB crews are all current lifeguards, and many of the racers will have already used their skills to save lives back home at their clubs. 

The events reflect the skills needed to rescue people, with races to pick patients up out of the water, to rescue groups in the water, and relays where teams work together. 

“These guys make tight turns, are spot on with navigation and accuracy, and they know the water and the waves,” Bicknell said.

“It’s an exciting sport, and the crews showed we’ve got some real talent here, but it’s also a life-saving one, and this weekend’s racing showed that our beachgoers are in excellent hands with these lifeguards”. 

The BP South Island IRB Championships are scheduled for March 16 at Dunedin’s Waikouaiti Beach, and the National IRB Championships are on April 6 and 7, also at Waikouaiti Beach, Dunedin. 

 

Overall Points: 

 

Club 

Points 

Sunset Beach LS 

179 

Mairangi Bay SLSC 

63 

Waikanae SLSC 

62 

East End SLSC 

44 

Waimarama SLSC 

36 

Kariaotahi SLSC 

29 

Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards 

22 

Bethells Beach SLSP 

18 

Waipu Cove SLSC 

18 

Westshore SLSC 

14 

Whangamata SLSC 

14 

Piha SLSC 

12 

United North Piha Lifeguard Service 

11 

Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service 

10 

Pauanui SLSC 

Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc 

Photo: Geoff Ridder

 

For more information, please contact:

Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157
Email media@surflifesaving.org.nz 

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