After a spine-tingling first round of the 2019 Ocean Roar Series, competitors are brushing the sand off their lifejackets and revving up the IRBs, ready for Round 2 at Tugun Beach this Saturday (May 11).
Gold Coast clubs Kurrawa and Kirra, IRB frontrunners, took out 10 of the 19 finals between them to finish on top of the leader board in Round 1 at Kirra Beach on April 27. Meanwhile, Sunshine Coast club Alexandra Headland conquered on foreign ground, finishing in third place.
Kirra SLSC IRB Coach Andrew McAuliffe said the team was feeling energised in the lead-up to Round 2.
“We didn’t expect to get as close to Kurrawa as we did. We’ve really grown as a club. There’s a lot of excitement about our female team climbing the ladder this year. They’ve been training hard, so we’re looking forward to see them out on the beach, in their element.”
McAuliffe said that Ocean Roar was an important stepping stone to state and national competition.
“We use Ocean Roar as training to iron-out any mistakes leading into States and Aussies. Our focus is to ensure our teams function like clock-work. Small mistakes can cost precious time – which can mean the difference between gold and silver.”
Although considered something of an IRB powerhouse, McAuliffe said Kirra SLSC was acutely aware of the competition.
“We have very experienced IRB operators, including a current World Surf Rescue Champion. But there’s no denying the competition is fierce. Point Lookout and Alexandra Headland really stood out in Round 1 – they have strong, sizeable teams.”
Healthy competition aside, McAuliffe emphasised that Ocean Roar is an opportunity for lifesavers to put their training to the test – and to have a blast doing it.
“As long as our competitors are racing well, enjoying the day, and looking after each other – the points take care of themselves,” he said.
SLSQ Sports Event Manager Stuart Hogben said there had been some exceptional performances in Round 1.
“Our top competitors really will need to bring their A-game to defend their positions. The first round of the IRB season was fast and furious,” he said.
“With a mere five points separating first and second place, Kirra will need to push harder than ever to stay on Kurrawa’s tail as they go further into the competition.”