The sunny Hawke's Bay is set to attract hundreds of top athletes over a weekend full of surf lifesaving action.
Waimarama Beach will welcome over 330 athletes for the 2017 Central Region Championships (CRCs) on Saturday January 14 followed by another 156 athletes for the New Zealand Representative Challenge on Sunday January 15.
Wellington's Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club will be looking to retain their title of top club at the annual Central Region Championships which has been growing steadily from year to year.
Events will include board, surf and ski races, Ironman, beach sprints and flags, canoes and surf boats with racing commencing at 8am.
Event manager Richard Whinham says this year will see a new race format to create a point of difference from your usual surf lifesaving carnival.
"With entries up on previous years, we are really excited about this event and having the New Zealand Representative Challenge the following day will make for a weekend of really good racing," he says.
Sunday's New Zealand Representative Challenge will see teams of 12 (six male and six female) representing the Northern, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Capital Coast and Canterbury regions as they tackle a comprehensive competition programme of high level racing.
A Youth team has also been selected for each region, also consisting of six males and six females.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager Mike Lord says the pinnacle event for Surf Life Saving is the bi-annual World Lifesaving Championships and the representative event format was developed last season to create a step in the pathway towards achieving national representative honours.
"The representative challenge gives each of the region's top athletes that chance to battle it out for regional honours in events including surf race, ski relay, beach flags, board race, tube rescue, beach relay, ocean person, ocean person relay and beach sprints. It also gives selectors a chance to see their results leading into the national surf lifesaving champs in March where New Zealand's High Performance squads will be selected," he says.
An overall point score will be maintained with overall winners being declared champions.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager,
Phone 0276 488 823