Disciplines or Events at Senior Surf Carnivals

The disciplines on offer at senior carnivals/state titles, Master state titles and Australian Titles ‘Aussies’ … are as follows;



from a floating start, competitors paddle their surf ski around three buoys and return to the finish line. The finish is judged when any part of the surf ski crosses the finish line with the competitor and their paddle all in contact.



from a floating start, competitors (two per ski) paddle their ski around three buoys and return to the finish line. The finish is judged when any part of the ski crosses the finish line with both team members and at least one paddle in contact with the ski.



from the beach (standing start) each competitor enters the water with their surf board, paddles around all buoys and returns to the beach. The winner is judged by the first competitor to cross the finish line on their feet and in contact with their board.



this event is a combination of a Board race followed by a Surf Race (or vice versa).



teams of three competitors compete in a relay format over a course similar to the respective individual races. After rounding the buoys and returning to the beach the first competitor runs around two turning flags to tag the second competitor. The second competitor then completes the course and tags the final competitor. The race finishes when the final competitor rounds all buoys, returns to the beach and runs to the finish line.


Swimming ability is a prime factor in surf lifesaving. SLSA Swimming events have been designed to encourage members to keep fit for lifesaving duties. Events include:



the Surf Race involves swimmers starting on the beach and then running, wading and swimming about 170metres to sea to round a set of buoys and then return to the beach. The event concludes with a run finish to the flags placed on the beach.



the Surf Belt race involves the use of the surf reel, line and belt and is one of the most prestigious and traditional races in surf lifesaving competition. The event begins on the beach with the swimmer placing the belt around their waist and towing a surf line out to their allocated buoy and signalling their finish. The Belt swimmer is assisted by three linesmen and a reel handler.



the rescue tube race is contested on the same course as the surf belt race. When the race commences the competitors must run up the beach to collect their rescue tube, turn and race to the water and swim to their allocated buoy to signal their finish of the race.



this event is run across a normal swimming course with the competitors commencing the race by running approximately 200 metres to round a flag on the beach before embarking on a swim around a set of buoys and then back to the beach. Once the competitors complete the swim leg they must then run around the same flag as the start of the race and sprint to the finish.

R & R

The Rescue and Resuscitation (R&R) competition provides the opportunity for SLSA members to demonstrate in a competitive manner some traditional rescue and resuscitation techniques used in Surf Life Saving.

There are both 2 and 5 person R&R events.

R&R is a competition based on the simulated rescue and resuscitation of a patient from the surf using the traditional belt and reel.  It combines swimming, resuscitation skills, marching and drill with teams judged against set criteria.

Participation in the event requires swimmers to have moderate to strong swimming ability while non-swimmers need to have moderate fitness levels.

R&R competition is only one of two events that have been held at every Australian Surf Championship since their inception – the other being the surf race.

Originally the only event available was the 6 person, with each competitor’s position in the team determined by a ballot. This meant that each of the team members needed to be a strong swimmer in order to swim in the belt. Nowadays many of the R&R events with 5 or 6 members consistent of teams formed with pre-determined positions.


First Aid competition provides for teams of 2 lifesavers to demonstrate their First Aid skills and prowess in a competitive environment.
Like the R&R, the First Aid competition is based on the simulated rescue and resuscitation of a patient from the surf.
The First Aid competition events are held with a set simulated accident scenario and a set time limit for each team in the event. The time limit is advised prior to the commencement of the competition and varies by age while judging is based on SLS First Aid Standards.


Consists of a team of lifesavers marching in time to a set number of disciplines whilst carrying a belt reel and club flag.

March Past is open to anyone and competition runs at both Junior and Senior levels.

March Past teams consist of 12 people marching in formation around a set course in time with music.  The team includes members carrying a reel, wearing a belt, and carrying the club’s standard (flag).

The March Past is an iconic event at Surf Carnivals and is an example of the significant impact returned servicemen had on the development of surf lifesaving and competition in the early days.

In past years, clubs were not able to compete at carnivals unless they fielded a March Past team or someone marching with the club standard.



competitors race on a straight sand course of approximately 70 – 90metres to the finishing line.



teams of 4 competitors race on a straight sand course of approximately 70 – 90metres with a baton, running one lap each. The final runner of a team over the finish line wins.



competitors start lying on their stomach facing away from a baton/s buried in the sand approximately 15 – 20metres away. There is always less batons than competitors. On the starting gun, competitors rise, turn and race to secure a baton. The competitor(s) who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated. The process repeats until there is a single winner.



competitors race on a sand course in four laps of 500 metres to total approximately 2km.


IRB or Inflatable Rescue Boats are incredibly important parts of Surf Rescue around Australia.  The aim of the IRB competition is to test and improve the skills and techniques of IRB drivers and crew.

IRB racing is fast, exciting and very challenging.  It requires an intimate knowledge of the boat, precision driving skills, and high levels of physical strength and fitness.

Races start with the nose of the boat facing out to sea.  Both the driver and crew person start the race standing outside the boat but in contact with the craft.  the driver must not be in contact with the motor in any way.  After the starter’s gun fires, the driver and crew person proceed to drag the craft to an appropriate depth before the driver jumps in and starts the motor to begin the race.

Events Include:

  1. IRB Team Rescue
  2. Mass Rescue
  3. Tub Rescue


The club has a thriving Surfboats section, with a number of male and female crews in various age categories. Seacliff crews compete at boat carnivals during the season, including the Navy series, Brighton Jetty Classic and Senior and Masters State Titles.