Inshore Rescue Boat teams from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, South Wales, London, and adding an international field teams from Germany and Denmark competed in 4 events at the National IRB Championships at Bournemouth recently. For the last Surf Life Saving event of the season the conditions were perfect, the sea was flat which meant fast driving and clear blue skies. Twelve members of Hayle Surf Life Saving Club made the trek up to Bournemouth for the competition and had an enjoyable day despite frustrations with some of the boats provided for the event and what seemed to be more than their fair share of bad luck.
All the crews were volunteer lifeguards and the event is a chance for competitors to show of their rescue skills under race conditions. For the first time ever there were heats, semi-finals and finals proving that IRB racing is becoming more popular each year. The events that were contested were Tube rescue (crew member has to swim to their patient from their boat), the mass rescue (the team has to perform 2 consecutive rescues), the team event (2 rescues are performed but the crews change between the rescues) and single rescue (rescue a patient).
Throughout the day there was very close racing between the teams but for some there was some bad luck with engine failures! Aberavon came out overall winners just 2 points ahead of 2nd place Hayle and Saunton Sands 3rd.
Arancia very generously donated an IRB, with Team Germany being the lucky winners after their name was pulled out of the hat.
Club Captain and Team Manager, Dave Parker, said “We were very unlucky not to have come away as National Champions, losing out by just 2 points to Aberavon but there’s always next year. We had a lot of bad luck with the various boats we competed in but we won a Gold medal in the Single Rescue with team members – Steve Penberthy (driver), Simon Peppler (crewman) and James Burlingham (patient) and a Bronze medal in the Team Rescue with team members – Dave Parker (driver), Steve Penberthy (driver), Scott Penberthy (crewman), Wade Phillips (crewman), Laura Burlingham (patient) and Laura Smith (patient). Other team members were: – Tim Needham, Raglan Thompson, Alan Roberts and James Wall. Thank you to Mike Penberthy and Cary Clark for officiating on the day.”