The venue for next month's New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships will host over 260 athletes this weekend for the Southern Regional Championships.
The annual event makes a return to New Brighton Beach in Christchurch which last year saw locals South Brighton retain their championship title.
The Southern Regional Champs offers almost all of the events available at the national champs.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Southern Region Sport Manager Scotty Roberts says the Southern Regional Championships is the largest of the South Island's senior competitions and it has a proud history of attracting athletes from around the country as a last opportunity to test themselves ahead of nationals.
"This will be particularly true this year for many athletes as it's not only the last major competition ahead of nationals but it will give them an opportunity to test out the venue," he says.
As well as Southern Region clubs, athletes will travel from as far north as Red Beach, north of Auckland and the Hawke's Bay.
Mr Roberts says St Clair will put the pressure on South Brighton to steal the title.
"Individually, one of the athletes to watch will be Sumner's Seb Johnson. After representing New Zealand at the Youth World Lifesaving Championships he is keen to maintain his form locally, he says.
"The beach relay team from South Brighton will also be ones to look out for and their performance could be the edge the club needs to retain their title."
Racing begins from 8am. Follow the live results at: http://liveresults.co.nz/sls
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823