Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) racing is an exciting sport that gives surf lifesavers the chance to put their rescue skills to the test.
The purpose of the Inflatable Rescue Boat competition is to:
- Improve the skills and technique of IRB drivers and crew
- Allow crews to demonstrate their techniques and abilities to perform rescues
- Bring crews together to discuss and improve IRB techniques and operations
- Promote safety awareness techniques for the crew and patients in simulated rescue scenarios
IRB crews consist of a driver and a crewperson. The objective of the IRB race is to rescue a ‘patient’ or ‘patients’ from the water in the quickest time.
IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) competition aims to improve the skills and technique of IRB drivers and crew as well as allow crews to demonstrate their techniques and abilities to perform rescues.
There are five events in IRB competition.
IRB Rescue: teams are comprised of one patient, one driver, and one crew member. The patient is in the water at a designated buoy, the driver and crew member are at the starting line at the on the beach. On the starter's signal, competitors launch the IRB, proceed through the surf to pick up the patient, round the buoy, and return to shore.
IRB Team Rescue: teams are comprised of one patient and two crews (one driver and one crew member per crew). On the starter's signal, the first crew launches the IRB and proceeds through the surf to the patient. As the IRB rounds the buoy, the first crew member jumps overboard. The driver completes the buoy turn and returns to shore alone.
The second crew member moves into the water, and takes control of the IRB. The first driver runs up the beach and tags the second driver. The second crew re-launches the IRB, proceeds through the surf to pick up the patient and the first crew member, rounds their buoy, and returns to shore to finish the event.
Mass Rescue: teams are comprised of one driver, one crew member and two patients. Both patients start the event in the water. The crew proceed through the surf, 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 a marker and returns to the IRB. The IRB is re-launched and the crew rescues the second patient, returns to the beach and across the finish line.
IRB Rescue - Tube Rescue: teams are comprised of one patient, one driver, and one crew member.
On the starter's signal, competitors launch the IRB, proceed through the surf and turn around their respective turning buoy. The crew member then 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 and patient are safely aboard, the driver navigates the IRB around the team's turning buoy and returns to shore to finish.
IRB Relay: this event is a continuous relay involving the four events in the following order: Rescue Tube, Mass Rescue, Teams Rescue and Rescue. Each leg is per the description above except for changeovers between legs.