Swim races are held over a distance of approximately 400m (out around a string of cans and back to shore). There are up to 32 competitors in each swim race and first back to the beach is the winner. There is also a swim team event. A 4-person team (3 person in Masters events) completes a surf race with their finishing place being added to the team’s total. The winning club finishes with the lowest cumulative points. The traditional belt race is also held at Championship carnivals for Opens and U19 competitors which is a one way sprint to the swimming cans. For U17 & U15 competitors a race to the cans pulling a rescue tube is available instead of the belt.There is also a 4 person rescue tube rescue race for U17s and U19s which involves a person racing with a tube to rescue a patient. The patient is then raced back to the shore by the tube swimmer who hands over to two other team members who race to physically carry the patient across the finish line.
Competitors begin board in hand at the water’s edge and race around a set of 3 cans 250m from the beach before returning to shore. First paddler back to shore wins the race. This discipline also features a board relay: 3 paddlers who complete an entire board race with a 50m run leg before tagging the next competitor.
Ski Paddling Events
Competitors begin next to their surf ski in knee-deep water and race around a set of 3 cans 300m from the beach before returning to shore and finishing between two flags placed at knee depth. First paddler back between the flags is declared the winner. This discipline also features a ski relay: 3 paddlers who complete an entire ski race race with a 50m run leg before tagging the next competitor. Another event is the double ski. Two paddlers sit on the same double seated craft and complete a slightly longer ski course (350m) before finishing between the finishing flags in the water. Ski competition is not available for U15 competitors.
First introduced in 1966, possibly the most iconic event of the modern era is the ironman race. Combining board, ski, swimming and running for an individual competitor, the event is also considered the toughest of the carnival program. Depending on the conditions, the race can take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. The order is different at each carnival and is decided by a random draw.
There is also a relay equivalent of the ironman race, known as the Taplin Relay. Conducted in the same manner as an ironman, a 6-person team (3-person for ladies and U19, U17 & Masters) completes 2 swim legs, 2 board legs and 2 ski legs. U15 competitors race in a Cameron Relay, which is similar to the Taplin but excludes the ski leg and uses 2 extra competitors as runners.
The board rescue race involves a swimmer (patient), swimming 100m out to sea to a buoy, followed by a board paddler (rescuer) paddling out to pick up and return with the swimmer back to the start line.
To compete in board, ski & swim races, a reasonable level of fitness is required. Races are generally short and intense, but when completing between 3 to10 races over a day a good level of endurance is necessary.
NCC SLSC conducts training for all ages and all skill levels throughout most of the year. Whether a beginner or an expert training for the Australian Championships, there are sessions to cater for all skill types.
The club competes at a number of local carnivals throughout the season in both junior and senior competition. The championship carnivals are held at the end of the season from February onwards and include the Branch, State and Australian Championships. All of these carnivals are open to all participants. The junior carnivals are held on a Sunday and events usually commence from 7.30am.
The senior carnivals (U15 – Opens) are held on a Saturday with water events generally starting early morning and lasting most of the day, but this may vary from carnival to carnival. The same applies to Masters events (30+). Masters carnivals are generally held separately to senior carnivals and timing can vary depending on the arrangements made by the host club.
All events that are run at regular carnivals are individual and relays for swim, board and ski, double ski, board rescue, ironman and taplin/cameron relay. The other races are usually only conducted at championship carnivals.