Surf Sports

Yeppoon Surf Life Saving has a strong and rewarding history in Surf Sports. Yeppoon prides itself in the strong competition on all levels of Surf Sports.

Yeppoon also has a strong Junior Development program to assist our next generation of athletes develop to their full potential including an elite junior program.

Every athlete must have a minimum qualification of either a Surf Rescue Certificate (Juniors) or a Bronze Medallion and must meet the patrol hour requirements according to their membership category to compete.

For more information about Surf Sports events, click the links below:

Water Events

The Iron Man and Iron Woman events are conducted over a course consisting of three legs, including a swim, surf ski and surf board. The race concludes with a beach sprint to the finish line. The order of the legs may vary and is decided by draw prior to the event.
Teams of swimmers, board paddlers and ski paddlers, compete together as a team relay over an Iron Man course. The order of the legs may vary and is decided by draw prior to the event.

The Taplin Relay event may be conducted in three person (one swimmer, one surf board and one surf ski paddler), six person (two competitors for each water leg), or four person (one competitor per water leg plus a beach sprinter to complete the race) variations.

This two-person event comprises of a surf swimmer and a surf board paddler. The race commences with the swimmer swimming to their allocated buoy and then signalling back to the beach for their board paddler to come out and collect them. Once the paddler reaches the swimmer, the two paddle their board back to the beach and cross the finish line.
From a floating start, competitors paddle their surf ski around three buoys and return to the finish line. The finish is judged when any part of the surf ski crosses the finish line with the competitor and their paddle all in contact.
From a floating start, competitors (two per ski) paddle their ski around three buoys and return to the finish line. The finish is judged when any part of the ski crosses the finish line with both team members and at least one paddle in contact with the ski.
From the beach (standing start) each competitor enters the water with their surf board, paddles around all buoys and returns to the beach. The winner is judged by the first competitor to cross the finish line on their feet and in contact with their board.

Pool Rescue

Traditional lifesaving competition in Australia occurs at a beach. In contrast, Royal Life Saving in Australia, and many countries around the world, have a focus on pool lifesaving and pool rescue competition. Competitors test their rescue skills in the pool with events such as manikin tows, obstacle swims and tube swims carrying patients. SLSA Pool Rescue competitions are usually held during the winter months. Further, it is now deemed virtually essential for athletes to have pool rescue skills among their credentials for consideration to be selected for Australian teams, enhancing the importance of this competition in rounding out a competitor’s skill set.

Beach Events

Competitors race on a straight sand course of approximately 70 – 90metres to the finishing line.
Teams of 4 competitor’s race on a straight sand course of approximately 70 – 90metres with a baton, running one lap each.
Competitors start lying on their stomach facing away from a baton/s buried in the sand approximately 15 – 20metres away. There is always less batons than competitors. On the starting gun, competitors rise, turn and race to secure a baton. The competitor(s) who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated. The process repeats until there is a single winner.
Competitors race on a sand course in four laps of 500metres to total approximately 2km.

Surf Boats

A boat crew shall consist of five competitors, four of whom are “rowers” and a “sweep” who controls the boat by use of a sweep oar and commands to the rowers. Boat crews start at the water’s edge holding their boats ready. On the starting signal, crews row around their assigned turning buoy situated approximately 400metres off shore and return to the beach. The winner is the first crew to pass their boat between the finish flags on the beach.

Lifesaving Events

This event provides an individual the opportunity to demonstrate their physical and mental skills required to be a lifesaver. The skills include a lifesaving questionnaire, resuscitation, surf race, surf board race, beach sprint and a rescue tube race. A point score based on the results achieved determines the winner.
The aim of the patrol competition is to demonstrate how surf lifesavers work as a team in performing some or all skills associated with surf rescue patrol work. Team members in the patrol competition must be from the same club. The patrol competition includes a number of physical skills, practical and theory tasks involving racing, rescue and/or first aid situations.
The first aid competition is a team event, and is conducted with a set simulated accident scenario and a time limit for each team. The time limit is advised prior to the commencement of competition. Judging is based on SLS First Aid standards.

March Past

March Past is one of Surf Life Saving’s original events and represents the traditional discipline of a surf lifesaver. Teams, often dressed in full length club swimming costumes, march in time to music around a set course carrying a surf reel, line and belt and following their standard (flag) bearer.

Teams march in formation following commands and they are judged on factors such as timing, arm and leg swing, space and dressing, body carriage and presentation.


Events vary depending on the carnival. The specific Carnival Entries Bulletins outline the events for each carnival. The tables below list the events that were contested at the 2013 Australian Pool Rescue Championships. Age group competitors are not usually allowed to compete in Open individual events. U11 competitors can compete at Branch and State level and have similar events to the U12s. 

  • More detailed rule explanations can be found at
  • 50m Freestyle with fins – competitors swim 50m any stroke wearing fins. Swimmers could swim the whole distance under water. U11-U13s must wear rubber fins. U14s+ may wear fibreglass fins.
  • Obstacle Swim – this event consists of swimming freestyle a total of 100/200 metres passing under 2 immersed obstacles set 12.5m from each end, per 50m lap.
  • 50 metre Manikin Carry – a competitor swims freestyle for 25 metres (35m for U14s), dives to recover a submerged manikin and carries it to the finish edge of the pool.
  • 50 metre Brick Carry – U11-U13 competitor swims freestyle for 25 metres, dives to recover a submerged brick and carries it to the finish edge of the pool.
  • 100 metre Rescue Medley – this event involves swimming 50 metres freestyle, turning and swimming underwater (20 metres for men and 15 metres for women) to a submerged manikin. After recovering the manikin it is carried to the finish edge of the pool.
  • 100 metre Manikin Tow – a competitor swims 50 metres freestyle with fins towing a rescue tube. At the turning edge of the pool the rescue tube is placed around a floating manikin and is towed back 50 metres to the finish line.
  • 100 metre Manikin Carry with fins – a competitor swims 50 metres freestyle wearing swim fins to recover a submerged manikin located at the 50 metre mark. The manikin is then carried back to the pool edge to finish.
  • 200 metre Super Lifesaver – a competitor swims 75 metres freestyle to recover a submerged manikin, and then continues carrying the manikin to the turning edge. The manikin is released, fins are put on and the competitor tows a rescue tube 50 metres. At the pool turning edge, the rescue tube is placed around a floating manikin which is towed to the finish end of the pool.
  • Line throw – a timed event (45 seconds) where the competitor throws an unweighted line to a team member in the pool and then pulls him/her 12 metres (10m for U12-U14s) back to the poolside.
  • 4 x 50m Medley Relay – 1st swimmer swims 50m no fins; 2nd swimmer swims 50m with fins; 3rd swimmer swims 50m with tube, no fins; 4th swimmer, with fins, waits in water and receives tube from swimmer 3. Swimmer 4 swims 50m with fins towing Swimmer 3 as the ‘patient’.
  • 100m Patient tow with fins – 1st swimmer swims 50m freestyle with fins towing a rescue tube. At the wall, the rescue tube is placed around the 2nd competitor who then lies back and acts as patient. Competitor 2 is then towed 50m, assisting by kicking, to the finish line.

Event information can be found on the following sites

Youtube has excellent clips from International events. Just type in the event name.