Surf Life Saving Australia’s 2018 National IRB Championships get under way in Thirroul

The Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Inflatable Rescue Boat Championships is shaping up to be a tight contest with the event kicking off in Thirroul on Friday.

It was a chilly start to the competition, with a wind chill factor of about minus five degrees on Thirroul Beach on Friday morning.

A record number of surf lifesaver’s will compete at this year’s national titles with more than 1000 competitors from 46 Surf Life Saving clubs around Australia fine-tuning their IRB skills for the weekend of racing.

The crew from Kiama Downs will attempt to go one better after falling short of their bid to secure a seventh-straight NSW title earlier in the season.

Current title holders North Burleigh will enter the event as favourites and are seeking their sixth-straight Australian championship. 

Illawarra crews from Helensburgh Stanwell Park, Thirroul and Woonona will also compete at the event.

With a low-pressure system travelling up the coast, conditions are beginning to look challenging for the motoring craft enthusiasts.