British IRB Champs Report Bournmouth October 2006

This weekend saw the SLSAGB's 5th national Inshore Rescue Boat Championships contested at Bournemouth Pier, where clubs from all over Great Britain displayed their skills and fitness performing high speed rescues using their Arancia inflatable surf rescue boats.

Local club Branksome Chine’s A team scored gold in the mass rescue, winning the Warren Mitchell trophy for the first time as well as silvers in single and tube rescue and the highest individual team pointscore. Hayle's 3 teams scored good results across the board and won the tube rescue, single rescue and managed to keep hold of the overall club pointscore trophy.

Southbourne and Whitsand Bay also put up fierce competition and won their share of races and medals and everyone had a great day in the unusually sunny October, day with a lovely clean little easterly swell pushing through all day and well over 200 spectators on the pier and promenade.

The local organising team had their hands full keeping all the boats running all day with various engine failures throughout the competition, no spare engines, and getting called out to rescue a stricken kite surfer 2 miles up the beach. But all was forgotten when everyone gathered around the bbq at the Westover Rowing Club for a well deserved drink and the awards ceremony with Warren Mitchell- the man behind IRB’s in surf lifesaving.

Thanks to everyone- locals and those travelling several hours to attend who helped make this arguably the best IRB champs yet. And well done to Jenny from Branksome Chine for being the only female driver in the competition, throwing down the gauntlet for other female teams.

Looking forward to next year we hope more teams will get involved, Wales and Devon being conspicuous in their absence, now the format is becoming familiar and hopefully we can start developing a national coaching structure and make IRB rescue competition a possibility for all clubs around Great Britain.