Over 1500 athletes set to take on 2016 national champs

Monday, 14 March 2016

Bay of Plenty clubs will be looking to defend their domination of the national surf lifesaving championship titles this week as 49 clubs converge on Ohope Beach for four packed days of competition.

The 2016 Eastern Bay Energy Trust New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships will be hosted by Whakatane Surf Life Saving Club with the Masters competition taking place on Thursday March 17, paving the way for the Open competition from March 18-20.

Omanu have long dominated the Masters space and last year they took out their 11th consecutive title, finishing with nearly twice as many points as Mount Maunganui.

However, Mount Maunganui defended their domination in the open ranks, winning the Allan Gardner Memorial Trophy for the fourth year running. They finished with a massive 213 points; more than double that of Gisborne's Midway in second and Mairangi Bay in third.

The national champs is the pinnacle event of the surf lifesaving season. From the Masters (over 30s) through to New Zealand representatives; surf boat crews to beach sprinters; these Championships will see over 1,500 athletes compete over four days.

Within New Zealand, athletes will travel from clubs as far North as Omaha Beach and as far South as Kaka Point with the largest group (141 competitors) coming from Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

This year's event will also see international competitors from Australia and Italy.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport manager Mike Lord says the scene is set for four great days of racing which will produce the 2016 champions.

"Our athletes have been training hard and have been producing some standout results at local, regional and international events over the summer and we're bound to see some top level racing over the next few days as they give it their all to round out the season," he says.

"The weather is sure to play its part too with a predicted increase in wave height to 1.8m on Sunday," he says.

Keep up-to-date via the Facebook event page here.

Entries by club:

Bethells Beach SLSP 18
Brighton SLSC 12
East End SLSC 21
Fitzroy SLSC 44
Kaka Point SLSC 4
Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club 8
Lyall Bay SLSC 39
Mairangi Bay SLSC 67
Maranui SLSC 11
Midway SLSC 31
Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service 86
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service Inc 24
New Brighton SLSC 21
New Plymouth Old Boys SLSC 10
North Beach SLSC 12
Ocean Beach Kiwi SLSC 42
Omaha Beach SLSC 3
Omanu SLSC 72
Orewa SLSC 74
Otaki SLSC 4
Pacific SLSC 7
Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards 47
Palmerston North SLSC 9
Papamoa SLSC 43
Piha SLSC 78
Pukehina Surf Rescue 3
Rarangi SLSC 5
Red Beach SLSC 108
South Brighton SLSC 17
Spencer Park SLSC 9
Sportiva Sturla (Italy) 1
St. Clair SLSC 16
Sumner SLSC 18
Sunset Beach LS 11
Taylors Mistake SLSC 13
Titahi Bay SLSC 38
Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc 15
Waikanae SLSC 36
Waikuku Beach SLSC 5
Waimairi SLSC 16
Waimarama SLSC 19
Wainui SLSC 26
Wanda SLSC (Australia) 1
Westshore SLSC 28
Whakatane SLSC 23
Whangamata SLSC 20
Worser Bay LSC 7
Total = 1,222

Bethells Beach SLSP 6
East End SLSC 14
Fitzroy SLSC 11
Karekare Surf Lifesaving Club 4
Lyall Bay SLSC 7
Mairangi Bay SLSC 3
Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service 47
Ocean Beach Kiwi SLSC 7
Omanu SLSC 49
Orewa SLSC 17
Pacific SLSC 1
Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards 2
Palmerston North SLSC 1
Papamoa SLSC 20
Pauanui SLSC 1
Pukehina Surf Rescue 4
Raglan SLSC 1
Rarangi SLSC 5
Red Beach SLSC 33
South Brighton SLSC 1
St. Clair SLSC 1
Sumner SLSC 1
Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc 1
Waikanae SLSC 10
Waimairi SLSC 5
Waimarama SLSC 2
Westshore SLSC 11
Whakatane SLSC 21
Whangamata SLSC 2
Total = 288

Social media

Those heading along can help share some great moments from the event at Ohope by posting action photos and videos via social media. Register here and upload them directly or post them to Facebook (make sure your post is set to 'public') Twitter and Instagram with ‪#‎SurfNats16‬ to see them appear automatically on our story board.‬‬‬‬

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823