Some of the state's best Inflatable Rescue Boat talent are ready to descend on Bulli for the second round of the 2022 NSW IRB Premiership this weekend.
Caves Beach and Kiama Downs showed they'll be the teams to beat once again after topping the points tally at Terrigal in round one earlier this month. Just 15 points separated the pair, while a number of teams are set to have plenty to race for on Saturday and Sunday.
One of those teams is Helensburgh Stanwell Park, who are hoping to make the most of their local knowledge. Helensburgh Stanwell Park - led by team manager Anthony Ashley - are confident of building on what they've labelled their "best weekend of racing" since their first premiership event four years ago.
"Terrigal was really good for us - it was probably one of the best results since we started in 2018," Ashley said.
"It's funny, being at Stanwell Park we can have big surf and whenever it's too big we go down to Bulli to train, so it's like our second home.
"We're quite confident to throw it all to the wind and see how we go."
Ashley praised the series as the foundation for a rapidly-developing Helensburgh Stanwell Park youth core.
"That first year when we had just the four, I was the youngest at about 39 then," he said. "The rest would have been late 40s, early 50s, but now we've got this team of juniors coming through and it's going really strong. We have 16 and 17-year-olds acting as patients pushing it along as well, wanting to progress.
"The confidence to go out in the surf in any conditions, the bi-product of racing, has been fantastic. The numbers just in the IRB area of our club have easily doubled since 2018. We've come on leaps and bounds."
As the team continues to progress, heading into round two, there is a clear target for Helensburgh Stanwell Park.
"In the last few years it's been about KD (Kiama Downs) and Caves (Beach), but you look at the middle bunch and the best of the rest is really up for grabs," Ashley said.
"It's our private target to give Coogee a bit of a nudge like we did last round - we do a lot of training together and I think they're getting nervous."
Sign up for breaking news emails below.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.