Nobbys IRB Racing Team

IRB History

Inflatable Rescue Boats or IRBs, were introduced into Surf Life Saving in the 1970’s as a means of responding to a rescue situation more efficiently.

Since then, the IRB, or as it’s affectionately know “The Duck” has had a dramatic entrance into Surf Life Saving and is now a required piece of rescue equipment at every club in Australia, performing thousands of rescues each year.

The IRB comes into its own in large surf, where time is of the essence and conventional methods of rescue are quite time consuming and risky. A skilled crew can negotiate the break swiftly and rescue several people at once, giving struggling swimmers a much greater chance of survival.

The IRB is also useful tool in search and rescue, vessel recovery and event supervision of swimmers thanks to its speed, visibility and on board equipment.


Nobbys IRB Racing Team & Competition

IRB competition is contended during the off season, given the need for the IRB during summer patrols. Nobbys SLSC compete in the Sharkskin NSW IRB Premiership Series, NSW State Titles and the Australian IRB Titles. IRB Racing is a rescue simulation of a real life scenario, testing the skill of the crew in negotiating the through the surf, maneuvering the craft and adapting to various beach conditions.
As the IRB is the most commonly used piece of rescue equipment, the skills learnt during racing feeds directly back to the skills required during patrol.

IRB racing consists of 4 events in Male and Female competition. These are:

  • Surf Rescue Starting on the beach, a driver and crew race to a turning buoy, complete a 360 degree turn, collect a patient at a second buoy and race back to the beach where the driver exits and sprints up the beach.
  • Mass Rescue Completed in the same fashion. However, when the driver exits, they run around a beach marker while the crewman turns the boat around. They then proceed to collect a second patient.
  • Tube Rescue The same principle as above is adopted. However, upon rounding the first buoy, the crewman exits with a rescue tube and swims 25 meters to collect a patient. They return to the boat and climb in. The driver then rounds the buoy a second time and returns to shore.
  • Team Rescue This is similar to a Mass Rescue, however after the first patient is rescued, the driver and crew tag in a relay fashion and a second patient is then rescued.
  • Divisions:  IRB racing teams member ages range from 15 to 60+ with divisions designed to cater for all skill levels and experience. Divisions the Nobbys SLSC compete in are – Rookies, Under 23’s, Open, Over 35’s, Over 45’s




Nobbys IRB Racing Season Awards

2021 Award Winners




Getting Involved

IRB racing is fast paced, action packed & a great adrenaline rush. It’s also a wonderful team sport & gives our competitors the opportunity to travel to carnivals along the NSW coastline and around Australia. Keen? Contact Al Gordon (IRB Racing Coach) on 0458 301 800 for more info or talk to any Nobbys SLSC IRB Committee member.

The minimum requirements to race for Nobbys IRB Racing Team are:

Financial Club Member
Bronze Medallion
Minimum 25hrs logged patrol prior to Dec 31st
IRB Crew Proficient
Minimum 20hrs logged race training prior to round 1