National IRB Champs Waipu Cove 2010
Waipu Cove

Biggest IRB event ever over three days allowing the over 30 Clubs and 300 + competitors a bit more down time to organise things.

Near perfect whether, 20deg no wind, surf was a bit small but enough to present a challenge. Lane advantages were few and these could reversed depending on the tide. Lane one at low tide was slightly longer and shallower but in the finals later on Sunday Fitzroy were able to use to their advantage in the a single rescue finals and come home with a gold.

This was Chris and Jarons farewell to competition after 14 years of racing IRBs and what a fitting end with 2 golds out of 3 in the Premier division. Thanks for some brilliant racing over the years, you will be missed.

The disadvantage of a shallow lane, ( longer drag to getting enough water under the prop), Chris & Jaron used their size/strength to build up more speed in the shallow water drag, fire up the engine the same time as they boarded the boat for the perfect get away.

East End (favourites) and Muriwai should have had the advantage but thru Fitzroys skill , strength & precise timing they were pipped at the post.

Its boat handling like this we see at most IRB events that demonstrate the skills the top IRB crews have developed at National in IRB Championships level.

Regarding Starts (Personal Observation)

NZ is the only country that retain the old rules of the option of ingear external engine starts. Last trip over the ditch we witnessed multiple boat dumpings at the waters edge from the surf shore break during competition at Kawana Waters QLD. thru drivers having to use inboard starts only. Boat is held by two helpers in waste deep water while the driver gets in turns his back on the approaching surf and starts the engine, waits for the bowman to get in then starts off from the beach, if he is still the right way up. This is not a very successful way of tackling a shore break esspecially without helpers.

Solder Beach years ago in a similar big shore break used an outboard in gear engine start and perfect timing to launch into 3m surf while other competitors failed. Taking away a drivers call is not good.

Thinking ahead, using the conditions to your advantage, taking everything in before the event or rescue and having options will make a rescue less dangerous or a DNF into gold.

SLSNZ have the right IRB rules, (the old ones) and long may they continue for the overall skill levels they promote.

Congratulations to East End, Top Club and to all the other Clubs/competitors/patients esspecially the South Is Clubs who worked hard to get to this years BP IRB Nationals and of Course the Waipu Cove Club & the tireless official/helpers/supporters.

For some great action shots view Vince Pols site . click Galleries. SLS events, Waipu Cove.

Have a Safe Winter.