Williamstown Swimming & Life Saving Club impressed officials and spectators alike at the 2017 Australian Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Championships, coming third overall in the national competition held on 14-16th July at Kingscliff Beach, NSW.
Queensland’s North Burleigh SLSC finished with the highest point score on a total of 51 points, in front of Kurrawa SLSC in second place with 24 points and Victoria’s Williamstown S&LSC finishing third with 22 points.
Williamstown S&LSC won gold in the women’s tube and men’s Rescue events, along with bronze in the women’s mass rescue and men’s teams. Also representing Victoria were Barwon Heads 13th Beach SLSC, finishing in 8th place and achieving silver in the IRB Relay.
Abby Esdale of Williamstown S&LSC proved to be a real asset, winning her fourth consecutive gold medal as the swimmer in in the Women’s Tube event.
Rhys Treloar of Williamstown S&LSC also won his fourth consecutive gold medal as Abby Esdale’s patient in the Female Tube Event.
Nine Victorian lifesaving clubs made the trip north to compete in what Surf Life Saving Australia reported to be a record year, with 720 competitors battling it out for the title and in turn raising the quality of the competition.
In addition to Williamstown and Barwon Heads 13th Beach, teams from Seaford LSC, Brighton LSC, Portsea SLSC, Elwood LSC, South Melbourne LSC, Wonthaggi SLSC, Ocean Grove SLSC and Lorne SLSC competed in the 2017 championships.
The competition meet also included the Interstate IRB Championships, with the Victorian team finishing in an impressive second overall place behind Queensland, rounding off a successful season with great results.
Kate Czerny from Williamstown S&LSC scored 26 points in the interstate competition, including three gold medals, making her one of the Interstate competition’s top three participants.
This year Victoria also fielded a Development Team for the first time in the Interstate Championships, with the team achieving some excellent results including winning the men’s rescue event.
LSV Director Aquatic Sport Rachael Rylance said it is great to see IRB racing continuing to grow in popularity and competitiveness.
“Victorian teams competed very well throughout the season, showing consistent results and dedication from crews and individuals,” she said.
“Our athletes took on the conditions at Kingscliff with confidence and skill, doing a fantastic job of representing both their clubs and their state.
“We hope to see even more clubs and competitors next year, to help the sport in continuing to gain momentum.”
The 2018 Australian and Interstate IRB Championships will be held in Thirroul NSW in July 2018.
For the overall results view the circular here