Surf Lifesaving and Ironman racing

Surf Lifesaving and the sport of Ironman - play a big part in all SEA programs.
A large majority of SEA Staff – and we employ over 150 - are successful Surf Lifesaving athletes in their own right. At the 2007 NSW Surf Lifesaving Championships

- SEA staff won 44 gold medals.

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Nipper camp

SEA programs include content from Surf Lifesaving Carnivals and Ironman racing, we also include Surf Lifesaving and Ironman demonstrations, Surf Lifesaving History Tours and Surf Club Tours as part of our domestic and tour group packages. SEA’s premier venue at Manly boasts the very first Surf Lifesaving Club and the most successful Club in Australia

Ski Jump

Australia after 100 years of competition

About Surf Lifesaving and Ironman

Ski wave

Surf Lifesaving was founded in the early 1900's by a group of volunteers to protect swimmers on Sydney beaches.

As an extension of this service, surf competition using ocean skills and surf craft began. This competition allowed Lifesavers to develop skills and techniques to complete awe inspiring and life threatening rescues. Events at a typical surf carnival include surf swim, rescue board racing, surf boat rowing and ski paddling. Beach events include running, beach flags, chariot race and pillow fight.

The sport of Ironman was developed in 1964, and includes four disciplines; swimming, board paddling, ski paddling and running. In 1980 a 16-year-old boy named Grant Kenny made the event famous by winning the Australian Junior and Australian Open Ironman championships within the space of half an hour. Grant became a national hero appearing on cereal boxes, TV adds, and was seen as the pinnacle of Aussie sportsmen. The short Ironman event became famous and the centre of attention at all surf carnivals.


In the early 1980's an event was developed for a movie called "The Coolangatta Gold", a dream event that would require competitors to complete a 42km course along Queensland's Gold Coast. A circuit was then developed that mixed 10-minute Ironman races with the Coolangatta Gold, and a range of other professional Ironman events around Australia.

In 1989 an elite group of Ironmen took the sport one step further and created the event for TV. The event was named the Uncle Toby's Super Series and became one of the highlights of the Australian summer sports calendar.


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School Surf Education programs

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Founder - Craig Riddington

Craig Riddington - ironman, swimmer, President Surf Educators International


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