9 June 2022

Broulee the decider for state's Inflatable Rescue Boat series

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IRB boat

Kiama Downs IRB boat crew in action. Photo: SLSC.

It may be a long weekend but there’ll be no time for relaxation for the state’s best Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) racers, with Broulee playing host to round three of the 2022 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership.

Around 400 competitors and 60 officials will converge on Broulee Beach this Saturday and Sunday for the event. It is set to attract some of the state’s best lifesavers for a thrilling high speed motor sport, competing in about 80 different races over the weekend.

The two hottest teams in the state will put it all on the line in the fight for first place, with both Kiama Downs and Caves Beach hoping to head home with a leg up on the opposition heading into the final race round in a fortnight.

Nothing separates the Hunter and South Coast clubs after tense battles at both Terrigal and Bulli over the past month, with each having picked up an overall round win and a second place.

As things stand, the pair have earned 18 points with a further 10 up for grabs for the round winner. Anticipation is building for a blockbuster weekend of racing.

Bringing the pressure from behind will be Terrigal and Newport, who sit seven and eight points adrift respectively and will be hoping for a slip up from the big teams to keep things interesting heading into the final round.

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While the prospect of a final regular season round with two teams duking it out at Ocean Beach in a fortnight is tantalising, Terrigal SLSC’s Bronte Bagala said the royal blue caps have their sights set on turning the competition on its head.

“Everyone has been training really hard because we want to come into this round and keep placing first in the events we do well, like our female team who is tying first with North Cronulla,” she said.

“We’d love to place first overall with the female team, it’s the first time ever we’ve been doing that, but we’re hoping to get a second this weekend in the overall points. Obviously first as well would be nice, but we’d love to test them.”

Having fallen outside the top three in their home race at Terrigal, the team found themselves in more familiar water in the Illawarra where their strong performances saw them leapfrog Newport and kept them within shouting distance of an overall victory.

“We’ve been really focussing on our starts and turns,” Bronte continued.

“I think the first round was challenging for everyone with the swell but we overcame that. The main thing we’re worried about this weekend is the cold.

“We haven’t been to Broulee – the furthest we’ve been is Batemans Bay a few years ago. It’s a six-hour drive and we’ve hired a bus which will be fun.”

Events include:

  • IRB Rescue
  • IRB Mass Rescue
  • IRB Teams Rescue
  • IRB Rescue Tube
  • IRB Relay

Round Three of the 2022 Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership will take place June 11 and 12 from 8 am to 5 pm. For more information including the order of events, visit the NSW SLS website.

The Broulee Surf Club has special event approval with Eurobodalla Shire Council, which means the car park and access road at Heath Street will be closed to the general public and used only for the event.

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