These are the men and women you want in an emergency
NATIONAL titles will be up for grabs at Kingscliff Beach on Friday, when the IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Championships hit the Tweed shores.
More than 800 competitors from 44 Australian and New Zealand clubs will participate in the four-day championships at the Cudgen Headland Surf Life Saving Club.
The competition will pit the best boat-riders in Australia and New Zealand against each other, displaying their speed and efficiency in emergency rescue scenarios.
Event leader Michael Crawley said the men and women, who will be in the water from tomorrow, were the lifesavers you would want to see if you were in an emergency.
"While this is racing in a controlled environment, these competitors are amongst the fastest, most agile and most capable rescue-craft operators going around," Crawley said.
"If you had to be saved, these are the men and women you want to save you."
Including staff and officials, more than 1000 people have flooded the Tweed Coast for the championships.
Crawley said the races would mimic rescue scenarios, testing the speed teams were able to reach an emergency situation out at sea.
"If you come down to watch what they can do in a boat, it is absolutely amazing," he said.
Competitors from under-23s through to masters will be competing in the championships, which will conclude on Sunday.