This weekend will see the largest of the South Island's surf competitions, the Southern Region Championships, return to New Brighton Beach.
Close to 300 competitors from clubs stretching between Blenheim and Otago are expected to compete. But with a proud history, the competition also attracts more than just regional athletes.
Southern Region Programmes and Services Manager Scotty Roberts says it is always a major event prior to the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships.
"In addition to competing for regional honours, athletes use this event as an ideal competitive warm-up to the Nationals which will take place in Gisborne next month, he says.
"As the reigning champs, St Clair will be looking to retain their title but Waimairi will be the ones to watch out for as they will be on the hunt for it this time around," he says.
Mr Roberts says some of the individual athletes to keep an eye out for over the weekend include Cam Jefferies, Seb Johnson, Tom Mouldey, James Coombes and Nathan Wolf.
"In the female division, Sam Holland, Lucy Johnson and Lucy Matehaere will be battling it out," he says.
The Southern Region Champs is one of four regional competitions that takes place each year.
Racing kicks-off at 8am on Saturday and will involve a range of beach and surf events from tube rescue, board rescue and canoe racing to beach sprints, flags and relays.
Points will be allocated to first, second and third place for all individual and team events. Points will then be added up to go towards the Southern Region Club trophy which will be awarded on Sunday.
For more information about the event, click here.
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823