Mount Maunganui held off a fast-charging Papamoa to claim the Bay of Plenty surf lifesaving championships on their home beach on Saturday, in the ideal start to the summer competition season.
Clubs from all over the North Island turned up, including large contingents from Wellington's Lyall Bay, Gisborne's Midway and Taranaki clubs Fitzroy and New Plymouth Old Boys, tussling in hot sunshine against seven Bay of Plenty clubs.
Despite a lack of swell, the flat conditions were the perfect fitness test for athletes, especially those who have just returned from the Rescue 2012 world championships in Adelaide.
Midway's Cory Taylor comfortably took out the open ironman, ahead of Layll Bay pair Tyler Maxwell and Ryan Cox, while South Brighton's Morgan Foster grabbed the beach flags and beach sprint double.
Mount's ranks were bolstered by Great Britain team members George Haynes, who won the surf race from Midway's Chris Dawson, and Robert Sheard, as well as French representative Julian Lalanne, who picked up points across the water and beach events. Olympic whitewater paddler Luuka Jones also showed her versatility, finishing second in the women's ski race behind Mount teammate Jaimee Lovett.
Papamoa picked up valuable points in the under-19 and under-16 agegroups, however, with Natalie Peat and Mason Bryant featuring, while Omanu's Ben Cochrane comfortably took out a quality field in the under-19 ironman.
Papamoa's relay teams also came home strongly, led by their Australasian champion beach relay squad, while the burgeoning Papamoa IRB team, coached by Justin Martin, were lear winners in their arena.
The competition season continues in earnest this weekend with the second round of the BP Surf rescue national IRB season in Whakatane, followed a week later by the first round of the Sonic Race Series in Whangamata.
BOP club championship points:Mount Maunganui 352, Papamoa 297, Omanu 26, Whangamata 22, Waihi 13, Whakatane 3.
Papamoa's Danny Hart competing in the board relay. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Journalism
Mount Maunganui's Luuka Jones competing in the ski race. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Journalism