Athletes power through tough conditions at BP Surf Rescue Championships

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Almost 300 athletes from around the country battled through cold, wet and windy conditions in IRBs [Inflatable Rescue Boats] at Papamoa Beach in the Bay of Plenty, to compete for top honours in the BP Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships today.

Teams from all around the country descended on the popular beach near Tauranga for the two-day event, despite less-than-ideal weather conditions which eventually cleared later in the day.

Event manager Scott Bicknell said: "It was certainly a wet start to the BP Surf Rescue Championships today with almost torrential downpours this morning, but we're lucky the weather got better towards the end of the day which certainly helped.

"We actually didn't have to delay many races despite the weather and our athletes revelled in the conditions. We can't wait for tomorrow, although we hope the weather continues to improve!"

Today's events included the assembly rescue and the mass rescue. Tomorrow sees the tube rescue, single rescue and team races.

At the end of the first day, Sunset Beach Surf Life Saving Club was leading the teams championship, with East End Surf Life Saving Club and Opunake Surf Life Saving Club rounding out the podium in second and third respectively.

Bicknell also wanted to extend his thanks to all of the race officials who stayed out in the poor conditions to ensure the races ran smoothly and safely. "None of this would have been possible without them. They did an incredible job today and I'm sure the athletes are as thankful as we are," he said.

27 clubs are taking part in the national event, from as far north as Omaha Beach near Auckland, and as far south as Dunedin with the Warrington, St Kilda and St Clair clubs all competing.

The action continues again at Papamoa Beach tomorrow from 8.30am and will continue for most of the day. Spectator entry to the BP Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships is free.

Assemby Rescue

U21: Opunake SLSC Hipsters (Jordan Hooper/Thomas Bell/Cory Jury) 1, Sunset Beach LS U21 (Jacob Pullen/Joshua Andrew/Jemima Ferrier) 2, St. Clair SLSC Black (Silas Kemp/Nelson Mears/Ashleigh Hurring) 3.
Senior: East End SLSC O Gee (Nick Horo/Jordan Moller/Reef Robinson) 1, Sunset Beach LS Senior A (Lewis Powell/Hogan Shrimpton/Tanisha Robertson) 2, New Plymouth Old Boys SLSC Gaz n Dex (Gareth Goodin/Dex Newland/Zoe Honeyfield) 3.
Women's: Sunset Beach LS A (Taylor Shrimpton/Robbie Shrimpton/Robert Graham) 1, Sumner SLSC Scissor Sisters (Sarah TGruscott/Megan Keats/Olivia Mason) 2, St Clair SLSC Black (Mikayla Garforth/Heather Thompson/Elle Rolfe) 3.
Premier: East End SLSC Black (Scott Nelson/Campbell Begg/Sinead Malley) 1, Paekakariki SL A (Tyler Mills/Dwight Garton/Jago Dellow) 2, Paekakariki SL X (Richard Whinham/Ben Falepau Willis/Jordan Crosbie) 3.

Mass Rescue
U21: Papamoa SLSC A (Ross Cowdrey/Jake Cowdrey/Kahleia Josephson/Flynn Grey/Samantha-jane Harding) 1, St. Clair SLSC White (Arthur Ibbotson/Angus Mackenzie/Anaia Wiparata/Lucy Duncan/Libby Clifton) 2, Waimarama SLSC Orange (Keegan Merwood/Luke Davis/Greer Whiting/Olivia Fleming/Rachel Finlayson) 3.
Senior: Sunset LS A (Lewis Powell/Hogan Shrimpton/Lola Key/Jemina Ferrier/Tanisha Robertson) 1, Westsore SLSC A (Taylor Dick/Ryan Ennor/Jessica Ennor/Tessa Black/Ashleigh Ennor) 2, Waimarama SLSC Blue (Rhys Harman/Luke Harman/Greer Whiting/Bella Herbison/Olivia Fleming) 3.
Women's: Sunset Beach LS A (Taylor Shrimpton/Robbie Shrimpton/.Robert Graham/Lola Key/Gaby Marshall) 1, Sumner SLSC Shakas (Kate Suter/Toni Cranko/Jade Jeffery/Callum O' Brien/Henry Lawson) 2, East End SLSC Babalons (Mckenzie Moller/Billie Alty/Ella /Rideout/Sinead Malley/Reebekaa Robinson) 3.
Premier: East End SLSC Black (Scott Nelson/Campbell Begg/Sinead Malley/Ella Rideout/Andrew Cronin) 1, Waimarama SLSC Black (Michael Harman/Ben Cross/Olivia Ward/Carolyne Nel/Bertie Bassett-Foss) 2, Sunset Beach LS Prem (Shane Edwards/Mark Edwards/Robert Graham/Gaby Marshall/Lola Key ) 3.

Full race-by-race results are also available on our website at