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GALLERY: Caves Beach reigns supreme at IRB Championships

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Caves Beach SLSC ended Kiama Downs’ eight-year dominance at the 2023 Sharkskin NSW Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) Championships at the weekend.

As a result, the Lake Macquarie organisation – headed by team manager Scott Bryant – claimed its first overall point score win at the event since 2015.

Nine years ago, Caves Beach shared the podium with second-placed South Maroubra and Kiama Downs.

And, history nearly repeated itself on the Central Coast, although this time the minor placings were flipped.

In the end, Kiama Downs simply couldn’t match the Hunter outfit’s weight in numbers and unbridled enthusiasm.

“We’ve got a young team and we’ve been slowly building up over the years… and we’re bigger than ever now,” competitor Liam Kleyn said of his club.

“It’s all sort of come together in 2023.

“The younger generation coming in has created a good culture, and we’ve also had a few people come back this year which has really helped as well.”

The achievement, in no small part, comes thanks to the efforts of coach Bryant, who has been part of the team for many years.

“He’s just so inclusive and happy to have anyone and everyone come down,” fellow Caves Beach competitor Elisha Angel said.

“He’s the driving force behind the team,” Kleyn added.

“Scott’s the glue that holds everything together.”

All eyes now turn to the Sharkskin Australian IRB Championships, which will take place at Kingscliff from 20 to 23 July.

The NSW Interstate and Development squads for the event have also been named.

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