The Inflatable Rescue Boat Championships (IRB’s) kicked off on Kingscliff Beach in perfect conditions today as the interstate teams took to the water to compete in heats across several categories.
The competition heated up quickly as the Interstate teams entered the water, but defending champions the Queensland Cyclones proved unbeatable, securing their ninth consecutive Interstate Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Championship title ahead of their rivals Victoria and New South Wales.
The ‘Cyclones’ consistent performance across the day secured them seven of their nine races including the Male Tube Rescue, Male Mass Rescue, Female Rescue and the Mixed Relay.
The team from Victoria moved into second place thanks to the strong performing women’s field team, who secured three of a possible four first place finishes. New South Wales teams came away with a first place in the Female Tube Rescue and an additional four second place finishes, putting them third in the overall rankings.
Surf Life Saving Australia sports manager Shane Knight said the IRB Interstate Championships continue be a highlight on the surf sports calendar.
“The Interstate IRB Championships are a spectacle every year, and the tight competition we saw today has set the platform for an exciting weekend of racing,” he said.
The Interstate Championships are the opening event for the weekend’s championships where Australia’s finest inflatable rescue boat racers battle it out in a test of the skills that keep our life savers rescue-ready in patrol season.”
The event is also an important platform for the development of emerging talent, with four of the five states entering development teams who compete in the event alongside the first-choice interstate sides without counting against the points tally. The New South Wales’ development team picked up first in the Male Team race, with Western Australia and Queensland finishing on the podium once and twice respectively.
Tomorrow’s action packed racing schedule includes the debut of the first ever Australian Masters IRB Championships, culminating in the flagship finals running Sunday.
Spectators are welcome to head down and check out the action this weekend at Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club on Kingscliff Beach.
QLD – 52
VIC – 46
NSW – 44
SA – 39
WA – 34