Surf Sports showcase the skills and physical abilities required to save a life.
There are five key disciplines available in surf life saving surf sports.
A key element to being a successful lifesaver is being fast on the sand and able to react quickly to an incident in the water. Beach events help hone beach running skills, creating more nimble lifesavers.
What are the Beach events?
Beach Sprints: Sprints is an individual event where competitors sprint in lanes marked on flat, soft sand towards the finish line. The track is 70 metres for U8 – U14 and Masters and 90 metres for U15 – Open age.
Beach Relay: Beach Relay involves teams of four running with a rubber hose as a baton. The baton is passed from member to member. The race is run on the same length course as the beach sprint, with the first team home with the baton the winner.
Beach Flags: Flags competitors lie face down in the sand and on the whistle jump to their feet, turn and sprint before diving for a rubber baton (the ‘flag’) in the sand. There is one flag fewer than the number of competitors therefore one person is eliminated each round. The last person left with the flag is the winner. The track length is 15m for U8-U14 and Masters, and 20m for U15-Open.
2km Beach Run: This event is run on soft sand and the track is 500m in length. Competitors run out and back twice. This event is for senior and master competition.
A number of training sessions are available across the season for our beach runners (‘beachies’).
2. Water: Board, Ski & Swim
There are a number of events available in the water during competition all tying back to the essential skills of surf lifesaving. Members have the option to compete as an individual or part of a team.
Our Board and Swim training sessions provide for all our members who want to retain a level of fitness for both patrols and competition. Members from U9 and up to Masters can compete in these training sessions. Our ski training is for Senior and Masters age groups only.
Our training programs cater towards our Seniors and Masters so all can benefit from intense and diversified training sessions, as well as improving the skills of our junior members. So whether you paddle a board or ski, swim or engage in iron competitions, we will have a session suitable for you. Our athletes must meet minimum Patrol hours to compete in championship events.
What are the Board, Ski and Swim events?
Below are the events available to compete in on a board, ski or multi-discipline events. Click on the links below to learn more about the relevant events.
Board events Race, Relay, Rescue
Ski events Race and Relay
Multi-Discipline events Taplin Relay, Cameron Relay, Ironperson, Lifesaver Relay
Further information on Club Training sessions can be found under the Club Training page.
Craft Storage: our club has a limited number of spaces for personal equipment storage (boards and skis). Members are to read the Equipment Storage Policy found on the Policies & Guidelines page and submit their interest – a small annual fee applies. Please note equipment is stored at owner’s risk and members are encouraged to obtain personal insurance for their craft.
3. IRB Racing
A high-octane event, Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) racing has a large following in Queensland as competitors from Clubs around the state fight it out for surf rescue supremacy. Aside from the spills and thrills of the competition the event is a real reinforcement of life saving skills. The races are all about simulating rescue situations and testing the abilities of drivers and crew people as they’re transferred to a competitive setting.
Palm Beach was proud to enter its inaugural IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Racing team into competition in the 2016/17 season. The team continued again the following year expanding in numbers and also making finals in this highly technical and skill-based sport. Palm Beach currently do not compete in IRB events but interest is growing. To enquire about IRB racing please contact the Club Administrator.
IRB racing runs through winter from May through to July. Competition starts with the “Ocean Roar Series” where Queensland teams compete in over 5 rounds of competition. Like all other Surf Lifesaving competition, IRB’s also have to compete in the State Titles and Aussies.
IRB Racing is the only competition in surf lifesaving where male and female competitors can compete together in the same team. Competitors can compete from the age of 15 years to no limit. To compete in IRB racing you need your Bronze Medallion and a Crews Certificate. Drivers must hold a current Marine Drivers Licence and current IRB Driver Award and complete at least 21 hours of training.
IRB racing is not about the fittest or the strongest. Competitors just need to be willing to enjoy themselves and jump in the IRB.
What Events are in an IRB Competition?
IRB competition aims to improve the skills and technique of IRB drivers and crew as well as allowing crews to demonstrate their ability and techniques while performing rescues. Below are the five events that teams compete in during the IRB season.
- IRB Rescue
- IRB Tube Rescue
- Mass Rescue
- Team Rescue
- IRB Relay
4. March Past
In the last two seasons, Palm Beach has resurrected a piece of Club history and started competing in Junior March Past once again. We are proud of our Junior team who have had successes in recent years at State Level with a Silver medal in the 2020-21 season and a Gold Medal at Branch level in 2021-22 (States was cancelled due to inclement weather). With thanks to the guidance of Coach Jenny Rees, under the tutelage of Scott Byrnes OAM – a former Australian champion, our future in March Past looks bright.
What is March Past?
March Past is one of surf life saving’s original events and represents the traditional discipline of a surf life saver. Teams, often dressed in full length Club swimming costumes, march in time to music around a set course carrying a surf reel, line and belt and following their standard (flag) bearer. The team includes members carrying a reel, wearing a belt and carrying the club’s standard (flag). Teams march in formation following commands and they are judged on factors such as timing, arm and leg swing, space and dressing, body carriage and presentation.
5. Surf Boats
Palm Beach SLSC has had a rich history of Surf Boat racing but do not currently compete in this discipline. To enquire about this discipline, please contact the Club Administrator.
What is Surf Boat Racing?
A boat crew has five people: four rowers and one sweep. The sweep controls the boat with an oar and directs the rowers. Boat crews start at the water’s edge holding their boats ready. On the starting signal, crews row around their assigned turning buoy situated approximately 400m offshore and return to the beach. The winner is the first crew to pass their boat between the finish flags on the beach.
Crews compete in approximately 10 events throughout a season, including State Titles and Aussies.