The BP New Zealand IRB Championships have got off to the best possible start today in Waipu Cove, as two teams sit on first equal after the first day of competition in near-perfect conditions.
The incredibly tight battle at the top of the podium is between Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service from Port Waikato near Auckland and St Clair Surf Life Saving Club of Dunedin, who are both vowing to continue the fight tomorrow for the top spot.
While this is Surf Life Saving New Zealand's last major sport event for the season, the athletes and qualified lifeguards have shown no signs of slowing down, as they use their IRB's [Inflatable Rescue Boats] to claim top honours for their respective clubs.
However, it's also an extremely close fight for the final spot on the podium with only four points separating third, fourth and fifth.
East End Surf Life Saving from Taranaki claims third place after day one, while St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club and Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club round out the top five.
Using IRB's, athletes compete in a series of events that imitate real life rescues, while collecting points for their club to fight for the national title. IRB's are an important part of Surf Life Saving with over 60% of all real-life rescues utilizing one, showing the important side to this sport event.
BP New Zealand IRB Championships event manager, Todd Cations-Velvin, said the event got off to a fantastic start and the incredibly close results really show the talent and skills of the athletes out there.
"We couldn't have asked for a better day than what we got today. The rain we thought we might get never eventuated and it turned out to be an absolutely stunning day.
"The athletes have also been giving it their all out there. It's awesome to see so much passion for these BP [New Zealand IRB] Championships and we think that's reflected in the results today. Tomorrow will be an interesting day for sure, and I think it will come down to every single point.
The action continues tomorrow from 8.30am at Waipu Cove Surf Life Saving Club in Northland, and features the tube rescue, single rescue, and teams finals.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 0276 488 823