Muriwai's top IRB crew took the premier title at the inaugural round of the BP Surf Rescue Series at Omaha Beach, north of Auckland, today, although Hawke's Bay club Waimarama were rewarded for a long trip by taking home the overall club crown.
Muriwai's driver David Butt and crew Brent Matuschka won the three-person teams race and benefitted from a Waimarama disqualification in the assembly rescue, when driver Mike Harman and crew Ben Cross missed tightening an engine mount.
The four-round series is a new concept, with the IRB community wanting more opportunities to race either side of Christmas in the buildup to the BP Surf Rescue Championships in late March, with Harman keen to make amends in the next round.
"That's racing and we've just got to move onto the next round and try and redeem ourselves," Harman said.
"We're pretty happy to get up and win the overall title with only two teams though and it's just so good to be racing. We've got so many more competitions to aim for with this new series and we're hoping a few more teams will come to the next round in Whangamata."
The Waimarama senior team of Timothy Cox and Jason Harman also won their division, holding off Mount Maunganui's Jason Watts and James Roy, with United North Piha's Leif Neilson and Miles Regal third.
The fast-rising Sunset Beach crew of Mal McGuire and Alana Ibbs took the women's title from United North Piha (Katherine Reardon and Yvonne Abel), with Sunset's near neighbors Kariaotahi (Lee Lawrence and Kayla Tribe) third.
McGuire and Ibbs won both the single rescue and teams race titles, while Reardon and Abel grabbed the assembly rescue crown.
Mount Maunganui twins Kirby and Chad Wheeler were the pick of the under-21 crews, winning the teams race and rewarded for consistency, placing second in the assembly rescue and third in the single rescue.
Papamoa's Mitch Brady and Nick Oldham were second, ahead of another Sunset Beach crew, Sam Dwen and Shane Edwards.
The next round of the series is in Whangamata in early December.
Waimarama's Michael Harman and
Cameron Ritchie pick up crewman Ben Cross in the Premier team
Photo thanks to Jamie Troughton / Dscribe Journalism
Senior: Single rescue: Waimarama (Timothy Cox/Jason Harman/Zoe Nilsson) 1, Mt Maunganui (James Roy/Jason Watts/Fergus Rieger) 2, United North Piha (Leif Neilson/Miles Regal/Nathan Regal) 3. Assembly rescue: Waimarama (Timothy Cox/Jason Harman/Zoe Nilsson) 1, North Piha (Leif Neilson/Miles Regal/Nathan Regal) 2, Mt Maunganui (James Roy/Jason Watts/Fergus Rieger) 3. Teams: Waimarama (Timothy Cox/Jason Harman/Cameron Ritchie) 1, Mt Maunganui (James Roy/Jason Watts/Fergus Rieger) 2, United North Piha (Leif Neilson/Miles Regal/Nathan Regal) 3.