11 members of Newport’s IRB race team headed North to Kingscliff for the IRB Aussies which were held from the 10th to 14th July. The first couple of days saw warm weather and gentle surf for the U23 and O35 events. This year was the first time that the U23 age group was in competition at Aussies and it was great to see our younger competitors get the chance to mix it up at in their own age group at Aussies level. Things turned a bit on the Saturday with the wind coming up and it became a battle for survival with a number of rollovers and injuries during this period. We were happy to come through this period intact and got to enjoy better conditions on Sunday for the Quarter finals The highlight of the weekend was our U23 Female Teams crew getting through to the final and picking up 5th place. The Teams race is made up of 2 legs with different drivers and crews doing one leg each to pick up 2 patients. On the changeover the first driver runs up around a pole and tags the second driver who then runs down to the boat while the crews are turning the boat around and getting it ready. Our girls shone through this transition with great speed over the flat beach while the crews got the boat spun and ready to go. As the U23 age group is run as a mixed gender division through NSW rounds this is the first time this crew had the chance to run in their own age group this season after having to mix it up in the open division through the state rounds. It was great to see the hard work that the girls have put in paying off. We are unsure exactly how long since Newport has been in an Aussies IRB final, however we know it is the first time in over a decade. Other notable results from the weekend were:
- U23 mass Rescue Quarter Final 5th
- Open Male Teams Quarter Final 5th
The IRB team is now looking to next year and would love to hear from anyone interested in joining the team for next season.