Paekakariki and Muriwai Surf Life Saving Clubs have finished with top honours after the New Zealand Surf Boat Series concluded at Piha over the weekend.
Paekakariki White Chocolate and the Muriwai Meerkats took out the Open Men and Women's titles respectively. The Orewa Chargers and Muriwai Munchkins won the Under 23 Men and Women's titles respectively. The Sunset Beach Young Guns and Titahi Bay InTIMidators won the Under 19 Men's and Women's titles and the Fitzroy Floggers took out the Masters Men's title.
Over 30 crews battled Piha's swells for the annual 'Day of Giants' for the fourth and final round of the series.
The first three rounds of the series included the Titahi Bay Classic in December, the Whangamata Surf Boat Spectacular in January and the North Island Surf Boat Championships at Waihi Beach earlier this month.
Paekakariki's White Chocolate crew of Richard Whinham, Abe McPherson, Ethan Atkinson, Josh Temple-Brown, and Steve Dickson had a two point advantage over Red Beach heading into the final round on Saturday and another win in the fourth round secured them the overall series title.
The Titahi Bay Dragonz finished just two points behind with the Red Beach Boomers claiming third.
A fourth round win for the Orewa Stars crew of Alysha Nesbit, Sasha Ballantyne, Rachel Hellesoe, Danielle Shrubsall, Sarah Hogg, Mark McCarthy wasn't enough to claim the Open Women's series title with Muriwai heading into the fourth round with a comfortable lead of 14 points having won all of the first three rounds.
They finished eight points clear of the Red Beach Muzzies with the Titahi Bay Timders finishing in third.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager Mike Lord says the Piha surf really tested the crews who have faced reasonably small swells throughout the first three rounds of the series.
"The weather was better than expected but the swell seemed to grow throughout the afternoon and some of the races had to be called off for the younger crews. But that is the nature of the environment we deal with; we have to adapt and all of the crews and officials did a great job of ensuring a successful event and a great end to the series, he says.
"Well done to all of those that took part and we look forward to doing it all again next season."
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823