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Lifesavers to battle big swell in quest for state IRB glory

The state’s top surf lifesavers are gearing up for the 32nd annual QLD IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Championships at North Stradbroke Island this weekend.

More than 320 competitors from across Queensland will fire up their engines and battle it out over two days for surf rescue supremacy, contesting one of the state titles up for grabs.

Kurrawa recently claimed their third back-to-back title in the Ocean Roar IRB series, and SLSQ Sports Manager Stuart Hogben expects the Gold Coast club to be the one to watch over the action-packed weekend.

“Although Kirra and Miami delivered some exceptional racing during Ocean Roar, Kurrawa has just come off a huge win, proving they’ll be the ones to keep your eyes on over the weekend,” he said.

Competition was initially set to take place at Main Beach, but may be moved to the more protected Home Beach, due to the increasingly dangerous surf conditions.

The increased swell will make for an exciting event and put the skills of the state’s top surf lifesavers to the test, but Mr Hogben stressed that competitor safety will always be SLSQ’s priority.

“We will once again have the drones in the sky for increased safety surveillance and to assist judging as the competitors battle the swell,” he said.

“With the predicted increased swell size, competition officials will continually monitor conditions throughout the weekend as the safety of competitors, officials and volunteers is always our first and foremost priority.”

The event will enable competitors to put their surf skills to the ultimate test, racing off over a series of rescue simulations designed to replicate real-life patrol scenarios.

“These championships are actually a genuine reinforcement of lifesaving skills,” Hogben said.

“When there’s a life on the line, every second counts, and these races are all about simulating those rescue scenarios and testing the abilities of our drivers and crews to respond as quickly as possible to a life-threatening situation.

“The skills that might help a club win gold this weekend are the same skills that could potentially save a life on patrol.”

You can catch all the action at the 2019 QLD IRB Championships from 8am on Saturday and Sunday.

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