AUSTRALIA'S world-famous Bondi Beach will have a new addition to its surf lifesaving arsenal this summer thanks to the purchase by Bondi Surf Life Saving Club of a new Polaris Ranger 400 all-wheel-drive 'side by side' (SxS) utility vehicle for rescue operations this summer.

The new Polaris Ranger 400 will enable the club - officially recognised as the world's oldest and most iconic surf club - to rapidly move its Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRBs, or 'ducks') to and from the water with safety, in the event of a rescue.

Bondi SLSC's teams of volunteer lifesavers have the task of keeping the tens of thousands of beach-goers safe and, if necessary, rescuing them when they get into trouble in the surf and the new Polaris vehicle will help them to better achieve this.

The Bondi Surf Club volunteers work alongside the now famous 'Bondi Rescue' lifeguards featured on the Network Ten TV show, who are paid professionals employed by Waverley Council.

Polaris Australia has assisted the Bondi Surf Club with the purchase of the new Ranger 400 by offering the club a range of accessories to outlast those hot summer days. The 165-page catalogue allowed the club to deck out their vehicle in their own unique way as well as offering full back-up and support.

The club has purchased the new Ranger 400 from Penrith Polaris dealer Sutto's Motorcycles.

"We are delighted with Bondi Surf Life's choice of our Polaris Ranger 400 and we were only too happy to help them out given the great rescue work they do for the community all year 'round," said Polaris Australia's Country Manager for off-road vehicles, Peter Harvey.

"With drownings and swimmers getting caught in rips at the beach being an all-too-frequent occurrence each year, lives are always at risk and if we can help surf lifesavers do their job more safely and quickly as they race to save others then Polaris is proud to help," he added.

The Polaris Ranger is ideal for getting across flat sand or over big dunes quickly, can tow an IRB easily, has a 453.6kg payload capacity and is certified for roll-over protection.

"For us, the Polaris Ranger 400 is a great way to demonstrate the practicality and safety of our 'side by side' off-road all-terrain vehicle range in a beach environment," he added.

According to Dr Bill Measday, director of lifesaving and club captain at the Bondi Surf Club, the acquisition of the new Polaris reflects the need for the club to satisfy stronger work place safety requirements which has seen it replace its older quad bike with the Polaris side by side vehicle.

"Apart from that the Polaris side by side will give increased functionality for our patrols allowing us to move more equipment to and from the beach faster and easier, ensuring our members continue to provide the best possible lifesaving service at Australia's busiest beach," said Dr Measday.

The Bondi Surf Club is officially recognised as the oldest surf lifesaving club in the world. It is an Australian icon and holds an indelible position in Australian history. The club was established on 21 February, 1907, at the Royal Hotel Bondi Beach by a group of like-minded bathers. The club was responsible for introducing surf lifesaving to Australia and pioneered the famous surf reel and line.

In addition to using IRBs - which are used to save 50 per cent of the average 1000 people rescued at Bondi Beach each year - Bondi SLSC carries defibrillators, oxygen and many other first-aid devices to assist in abiding with the club motto of "no lives lost".

Bondi SLSC leads Australia in the number of rescues performed and is more committed than ever to providing the highest quality of voluntary community service. Bondi SLSC is at the forefront of new technology in the lifesaving field, including inflatable rescue boats, jet-ski rescue craft and automatic external defibrillators.

The Polaris Ranger 400 is powered by a four-stroke, single-cylinder, 455cc, 29hp carburetted engine that is liquid cooled. It is equipped with an integrated certified roll-over protection structure (ROPS) and has seating for two adults, has a payload of 453.6kg, a rear cargo 'dump box' carrying capacity of 226.8kg, and a towing capacity of 567kg.

It has independent long-travel suspension front and rear delivering ground clearance of 25.4cm while the on-demand all-wheel-drive system ensures traction in tricky, low-grip situations and reverts to two-wheel drive automatically when AWD is no longer required. It has a 34.1-litre fuel tank.

The Polaris system also enables drivers to switch to one-wheel drive - or what Polaris calls Turf Mode - for extremely tight turns, or to minimise any possible tyre-tread environmental damage to sensitive terrain. It uses 12-inch stamped steel rims.

Both the driver and passenger benefit from excellent ergonomics and outstanding comfort with extra legroom and slide-through design allowing two adults to enter and leave the Ranger quickly and safely and the Polaris Ranger 400 is fitted with new driver and passenger side nets for added safety.

The vehicle has a dry weight of only 476kg and it is available in a range of colours including Solar Red, Sage Green and Polaris Pursuit Camo.

Polaris Industries made its first snowmobile prototype in 1954, but in more recent years added all-terrain and neighbourhood electric vehicles to its range. Polaris now offers more than 13 different models ranging from, two seaters to six seaters, two, four and six wheel drives, 400cc to 800cc petrol or diesel engines and even an electric vehicle.

Polaris is based in Medina, Minnesota, USA. The company also manufactures motorcycles through its Victory Motorcycles subsidiary and recently added the Iconic Indian Motorcycles to its stable of brands.

With annual sales of more than $1.9 billion in 2008, Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets the Polaris RANGER for recreational and utility use.

For further information contact:

Jon Thomson
Thomson PR
Landline: 02 9938 6408
Mobile: 0418 641 959