Back-to-back titles for BP New Zealand IRB Championships winner

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service has won the iconic BP New Zealand IRB [Inflatable Rescue Boat] Championships, held this weekend in Waipu Cove, to take the title for the second year in a row following an extremely close battle.

They sat in first equal overnight with St Clair Surf Life Saving Club of Dunedin, who ultimately finished in second at the annual event which this year attracted 83 crews from around the country. Both Sunset Beach and St Clair had eight crews meaning the contest was neck-and-neck the entire weekend.

Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service from Port Waikato near Auckland pulled into the lead today after securing wins in the men's tube rescue, women's tube rescue and women's single rescue events, among other top placings.

East End Surf Life Saving Club from Taranaki finished the weekend in third, a mere four points ahead of Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club [Bay of Plenty] in fourth and Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club [Hawkes Bay] in fifth.

BP New Zealand IRB Championships event manager, Todd Cations-Velvin, said it was another very successful BP IRB Championship event, thanks mainly to the people who attended.

"Overall, it was another fantastic weekend of BP New Zealand IRB Champs. The crews all raced  to the highest standard and while it was really competitive, it was great to see the camaraderie and friendly-banter within the IRB-fraternity.

"We [event organisers] would also like to extend our thanks to all the officials and volunteers who have allowed this event, and actually most of the events this season, to happen. Many of them have come to the majority of our sports events throughout the season and we simply couldn't run it without them."

Mr Cations-Velvin also praised the Waipu Cove Surf Life Saving Club for being wonderful hosts, as well as the local Waipu community, who both contributed to the overall smooth running of the event.

At this sports event, some of the top teams are able to attach their engine to the IRB, turn it around, get into the water, pick up a patient and return to shore in around 40 seconds. In a real-life rescue situation, where every second counts, this could be the difference showing how important surf sport events such as this one are in upskilling lifeguards.

This event marks the conclusion of the 2016-17 Surf Life Saving sport season. Thousands of athletes have competed across the country over the past season in a variety of events, which ultimately increases their skill level and allows them to save lives on New Zealand beaches.




Sunset Beach LS


St Clair SLSC


East End SLSC


Papamoa SLSC


Waimarama SLSC


Opunake SLSC


New Plymouth Old Boys SLSC


St Kilda SLSC


Warrington SLSC


Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards


United North Piha Lifeguard Service


Westshore SLSC


Waikanae SLSC


Fitzroy SLSC


North Beach SLSC


Taylors Mistake SLSC


Kariaotahi SLSC



SLSNZ_BP_IRBChamps _Alana Mc Isaac -4763


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 0276 488 823