Mother and son on an IRB at Aussies
At the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships on the Gold Coast on Wednesday, Tracy Buhk and her son Connor from Alexandra Headlands SLSC were on the water monitoring one of the competition arenas in an Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB).
Not only was this their first time together in an IRB but to do it at the Aussies is very special. No one at the Aussies can remember a mother and son, making up an IRB team in recent history.
With over 6000 competitors at the Championships there are hundreds of officials working to arrange the events and keep the athletes safe, on the water and on the beach. And clubs must provide a certain quota of officials to make sure the Championships go ahead.
“You’ve got to get the numbers up for the club, and the other officials roles are not really my gig so I thought if I did my ‘crewmans’ I could help with the IRB requirement for the Club,” Tracy said.
Tracy did her bronze medallion back in 1984 and IRB crewing was part of it then. But she has only recently renewed her crewing again.
“It’s one of those things that can lapse so I did it again.”
Connor has been on an IRB for the past six years.
“I’ve had my crewmans since I was 15 and I’ve been driving the boat since 17 – and doing the Aussies since the 2016 championships,” 21-year-old Connor said.
“This is our first time in the IRB together. But it’s just the same as with anyone so it will be good,” he said.
Connor will be is driving an IRB for most of the week, whereas his 51-year-old mum is competing in the 50+ Malibu Longboard Riding later in the week.