Surf Life Saving New Zealand's first national event for the 2014/15 season kicks-off on Friday with the single largest pool event in the country, the New Zealand Pool Championships.
The national champs for pool rescue events features events ranging from manikin carries and obstacles to line throw and rescue medleys. All the events are based around rescue capability and are specific to saving people's lives- what Surf Life Saving New Zealand is all about.
There will be approximately 400 races across the competition at the West Wave Aquatic Centre in Auckland.
The event kicks-off at lunchtime on Friday and continues through all day on Saturday before finishing up at lunchtime on Sunday.
As well as having a total of 463 entries from athletes (including 13 from New South Wales), there will be around 50 officials, water crews and volunteers to assist with running the annual event.
The event will also double as a farewell for New Zealand's surf lifesaving teams (New Zealand and Youth teams) who are competing at the Lifesaving World Championships (Rescue 2014) in France from September 13-26.
The athletes will race individually for their clubs before teaming up for some national teams' races in the relay events to assist with their preparations for Rescue 2014.
There will also be daily team poster signing sessions which will allow spectators and competitors the chance to interact with the athletes.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager Mike Lord says the team is really looking forward to mixing with their fellow surf lifesavers at the national event before they head off to France. "It's a great opportunity for people to get along and see the athletes in action before they head off to Rescue 2014," he says.
Mr Lord says he is excited to see the continual growth and interest in the New Zealand Pool Championships at both a national and regional level.
"Now in its 12th year, pool champs is an exciting event that attracts huge crowds because of its unique and fun environment. It has a different vibe to competing at the beach and a draw card is that whole clubs can compete together and cheer each other on," he says.
Click here for more information and follow the live results page throughout the weekend at http://events.surflifesaving.org.nz/results_live/default.asp
There are a range of reasons why the New Zealand Pool Championships is a unique and exciting event.
All the events are based around rescue capability and are specific to saving people's lives- what Surf Life Saving New Zealand is all about.
Not only is it the one event that is held in a controlled environment, it also the one competition that is purely swimming based.
The different events help competitors train for a surf environment. Diving underwater to pick up bricks off the bottom of the pool and rescuing manikins that weigh around 70kgs is comparable to ducking under a wave and diving under to rescue someone.
Some of the most popular events to watch are the line throw which involves one person throwing a rope to a patient who is positioned 12.5 meters from the pool edge; it is a very fast and exciting race to watch.
The Super Lifesaving event is another popular one with different components including swimming with fins, carrying a rescue tube and a rescue off the bottom of the pool.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823