The IRB competition season starts when patrols end, with the first carnival usually in April, running through to State Titles in late June. Aussie titles are normally July, and the Southern States Challenge vs Victoria is also run during June, with SA and VIC alternating as hosts.
There are 4 disciplines to IRB competition, requiring drivers, crew and patients – patients must be minimum crew-holders;
Teams are comprised of one patient, one driver, and one crew member. The patient is positioned on the seaward side of the designated buoy. The driver and crew member are on the beach side of the crew start/finish line adjacent to their beach position indicators. On the starter’s signal, the crew launches the IRB, precedes through the surf to pick up the patient, round the buoy, and return to shore.
IRB TUBE RESCUE
Teams are comprised of one patient, one driver, and one crew member. Patients are positioned at their respective patient buoys, set approximately 25metres on the seaward side of the turning buoys. Crew members are positioned on the beach side of the crew start/finish line, adjacent to their respective beach position indicators.
On the starter’s signal, competitors launch their IRBs, proceed through the surf and turn around their respective turning buoy. The crew member uses the rescue tube.
After the IRB has rounded the turning buoy, the crew member with the rescue tube held in a secure grip, enters the water and swims past the turning buoy to their patients.
The crew member secures the rescue tube around the arms of the patient and tows the patient back to the IRB. Once the crew member makes contact with the IRB or driver, he or she may board before the patient. The driver may assist the crew member and/or patient into the IRB. (Patients may also assist themselves in boarding the IRB.)
After the patient is in the craft and IRB has commenced, the driver navigates the IRB around the team’s respective turning buoy and returns to shore to finish.
IRB TEAM RESCUE
Teams are comprised of one patient and two crews (one driver and one crew member per crew). The patient is positioned on the seaward side of a designated buoy. Both crews are positioned on the beach side of the crew start/finish line adjacent to their beach position indicator.
On the starter’s signal, the first crew launches the IRB and proceeds through the surf to the patient. On the inside of the turn (as the IRB rounds the buoy), the crew member jumps overboard on the seaward side of the buoy. The driver completes the buoy turn and returns to shore alone.
Meanwhile the crew member of the second crew moves into the water.
The first driver stays in contact and in control of the IRB until the second crew member secures and takes control of the IRB. The first driver runs up the beach and crosses the crew start/finish line to tag the second driver who proceeds to the IRB.
The second crew re-launches the IRB, precedes through the surf to pick-up the patient and the first crew member, rounds their buoy, and returns to shore to finish the event.
IRB MASS RESCUE
Teams are comprised of one driver, one crewman and two patients. Both patients will be taken out to the buoy, where one will wait on either side (sea side or shore side) of the buoy to be rescued. The crew shall proceed out to sea, pick up their first patient and return to shore. The driver and the patient must exit the IRB where the patient retires to the beach. The driver proceeds to the start/finish line, rounds their respective beach position marker and returns to the IRB. The IRB is re-launched and the crew proceeds to rescue the second patient and return them to shore, on to the beach and across the finish line.
This event is a continuous relay involving the four events detailed above in the following order: Rescue Tube, Mass Rescue, Teams Rescue and Rescue.
Each leg shall be as per the individual event descriptions except for changeovers between legs. The finish shall be following the completion of the Rescue (fourth) leg of the race.