Over 100 Kiwi club members put on an impressive performance at this year's Australian Surf Life Saving Championships in Queensland, coming back with a total of 12 medals.
Over 6,500 competitors took part in the competition, more familiarly known as The Aussies, from April 15-21. The Kiwi contingent was made up of Mairangi Bay, Orewa, Piha and Red Beach from the Northern Region, Mt Maunganui, Papamoa, Omanu and Whangamata from the Eastern Region and Fitzroy, New Plymouth Old Boys, Paekakariki and Titahi Bay from the Central Region.
Orewa's Chester Edwards took out gold in the open male 2km beach run and Mairangi Bay also won gold in the Masters male surf boat race.
Papamoa's Ben Johnston, Taris Harker and Daniel Hart also took out gold in the under 17 men's taplin relay, an outstanding race.
The only silver won by the Kiwis went to Scott Murfitt from New Plymouth Old Boys in the under 17 male beach sprint.
A total of eight bronze medals made up the remaining tally. They were awarded to Danielle McKenzie from Mairangi Bay in the under 19 female surf board race, Taris Harker from Papamoa in the under 17 male single ski race, Natalie Peat, also from Papamoa, in the under 19 female iron woman and Ashley Cochrane from Omanu in the under 19 female 2km beach run.
Red Beach and Papamoa teams took two bronze medals each; Red beach claimed theirs in the under 17 female taplin relay and the male beach relay while Papamoa took theirs in the under 19 male tube rescue and the under 17 surf belt race.
Many other athletes got incredibly close to the medal table by making their way to final events. Kiwi athletes competed in 26 individual finals and 20 team finals.
Surf life Saving New Zealand General Manager Club Development Mark Weatherall says all the Kiwi athletes did an amazing job at the Aussies, coming out with some of the best results in years. "It's an outstanding effort to make an Aussie final, let alone win medals," he says.
For full results visit the Surf Life Saving Australia website at www.sls.com.au/aussies or like the Facebook page for pictures at Eastern - Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service, Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club, Omanu Beach SLSC, Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club