Omanu Beach will be looking to defend their Junior Surf title for the third consecutive time this weekend at the annual Eastern Regional Junior Championships.
The event has grown sizably with over 600 athletes taking part in the event at Waihi Beach across the coming weekend.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region Sport Manager Mark Inglis says the event caters for the slightly younger athletes from 7-to 14 year-olds unlike the Under 14 New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships (Oceans) which caters for 10-14 years.
"Omanu are showing good form after taking out the Bay of Plenty Junior Championships at Ohope in December but Mount Maunganui and Papamoa will put up some tough competition too," he says.
Mount Maunganui has the largest contingent with 83 athletes entered followed by defending champs Omanu (75) and Papamoa (71). Hosts Waihi Beach have 70 while Red Beach, travelling from North of Auckland, have a group of 63.
The event has also attracted competition from the Central Region including Hawke's Bay's Westshore and Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Clubs and Taranaki's East End, Fitzroy and New Plymouth Old Boys as well as Northern Region Clubs Mairangi Bay, Bethells Beach, Muriwai, Red Beach and Orewa.
The Under 8, 9 and 10 events will include Beach Sprints, Beach Flags, Run-Wade-Run, Run-Swim-Run, Surf Race, Body Board Race, Board Race, Diamond Race, Beach Relay, Body Board Relay, Board Relay and the four person Cameron Relay which involves two runners, one swimmer and one board paddler.
The Under 11, 12, 13 and 14 age group events include Beach Sprint, Beach Flags, Run-Swim-Run, Surf Race, Diamond Race, Board Race, Beach Relay, 2km Beach Relay, Board Relay, the six person Grand Cameron Relay, Tube Rescue and Board Rescue.
Racing begins at 8am on Saturday and continues through to Sunday.
Live results will be available as each event is run throughout the weekend at http://liveresults.co.nz/sls.
Photos, live streaming and updates will be available on the Eastern Region Facebook page.
Entries by club:
Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service- 83
Omanu SLSC- 75
Papamoa SLSC- 71
Waihi Beach Lifeguard Service- 70
Red Beach SLSC- 63
Whangamata SLSC- 49
Waikanae SLSC- 39
Whakatane SLSC- 39
Wainui SLSC- 22
Midway SLSC- 20
Westshore SLSC- 20
Mairangi Bay SLSC- 18
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service- 7
Whiritoa Lifeguard Service- 7
East End SLSC- 6
Hot Water Beach- 6
Orewa SLSC- 6
New Plymouth Old Boys- 5
Bethells Beach- 3
Fitzroy SLSC- 3
Ocean Beach Kiwi SLSC- 2
Pauanui SLSC- 1
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823