IRB Racing

Williamstown SLSC has a strong history in IRB competition, with an outstanding performance in winning the overall point score at the Australian IRB Championships in 2010 and 2018, becoming the first Victorian club to be awarded an Australian Life Saving Championship title.

Today the sport has grown to more than 16 clubs and over 200 competitors across the State and is the fastest growing sport in SLSA competition.  IRB competition incorporates both State and National competition with several rounds conduct throughout the state before the various titles are held. IRB Competition is a fast, action-packed highly skilled sport and makes for great viewing. Competition is designed to replicate various rescue techniques used by inflatable Rescue Boats with a strong focus on one's safety.

IRB Competition

The aims of Inflatable Rescue Boat (hereafter referred to as ‘IRB’) competition are to:

  • Improve the prowess of IRB drivers and crewpersons (hereinafter collectively referred to as “crew”).
  • Encourage crews to correctly equip and maintain their IRB and motors for optimum safe performance and reliability for both lifesaving patrol duties and competition.
  • Allow crews to demonstrate their techniques and their abilities to perform a rescue.
  • Bring crews together to discuss and improve IRB techniques and operations.
  • Promote safety awareness techniques for the crew and patients in simulated rescue scenarios.

Race Types

Rescue Tube

Driver and crew-person approach a turning buoy, at which point the crew-person enters the water with a rescue tube attaches and swims towards the patient located at another buoy.

After securing the patient with the tube, the crew-person tows the patient back to the IRB. Once the patient and crew-person are back in the IRB, the driver heads back to shore to finish.

Mass Rescue

Driver and crew-person approach two patients in the water, picking up one and returning to shore. The patient exits the boat and the driver rounds a turning point on the beach while the crew-person turns the IRB. The driver restarts the IRB and again proceeds to collect the second patient. The IRB then returns to shore to finish.


Driver and crew-person approach two patients in the water, picking up one and returning to shore. The patient and driver exit the boat while the crew-person turns the IRB. A second crew-person makes their way to assist in turning the IRB, while the first driver tags the second driver. The second crew makes their way out to rescue the second patient and return to shore to finish.

Surf Rescue

This is the simplest discipline, with the driver and crew heading out to collect a single patient then returning to shore as quickly as possible.

Championship Wins


  • 2010 Australian IRB Champions
  • 2018 Australian IRB Champions


  • 2018 Victorian IRB Champions