Marine Surf Lifesaving Club's (MSLC) surf boat crew - alias "Marine's dream team" are leaving for Australia on Thursday to compete in Rescue 2006 - ILS World Lifesaving Championships.

Their event takes place on February 24 in Geelong, Victoria. More than 4 000 lifesavers from 30 nations are competing in these championships, currently on the go, which end on February 26.

The crew, Lando Davey, Andrew Shenker, Anthony Crosskill, Wesley Jones, Gary Brummer (boat captain and sweep) and Quintin Havenga (reserve) have undergone gruelling training for the past 11 months and according to Gary, they are in top form and geared up to take on the world's best.

Before the adoption of motorised craft in sea rescues, the surf boat was a major piece of rescue equipment. Today surf boat racing remains one of the most spectacular events in surf lifesaving competitions.

Great fitness, tenacity and discipline are required to effectively row the eight-kilometres long wooden boat that weighs about 230kg. It takes four strong rowers and a sweep (responsible for steering the boat) to power through surf, ranging from flat up to 4m and sometimes bigger.

Training to race surf boats entails weekly rowing sessions and toilsome gym work-outs. Marine's surf boat team are currently the national champions and the only surf boat team to represent South Africa at the Australian world champs. Their primary sponsor is Platinum Properties Worldwide and their secondary sponsors are Bad Boy, Gem and Island Tribe.