The local Mt Maunganui team has taken the early lead at the four-day under-14 Oceans '17 Surf Life Saving carnival, held this weekend at the beach near Tauranga, in near perfect weather and surf conditions.
With 54 athletes, Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service have finished the day with a total of 15 points, while dominating the men's 'run-swim-run' events with a win in the men's under-12, under-13 and under-14 year groups, plus taking the top spot in the under-11 women's beach flags event.
While they have taken the early lead, Maranui Surf Life Saving Club, Red Beach Surf Life Saving club and Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club are all chasing them and aren't far behind with nine and eight points respectively.
Oceans '17 event manager Scott Bickenell said the first day was a huge success and it's great to see everyone enjoying the iconic event.
"Everything from the athletes to the conditions, spectators and officials has been awesome today. It was great for us to see everyone enjoying themselves and supporting each other.
"It's also good to see a good battle emerging with the top teams. At this stage, it seems as though every point will count so we're excited to see them go head-to-head again tomorrow because it will definitely be close."
Tomorrow sees the event's 898 competitors race in the board rescue which sees one member of the team swim approximately 120m to a designated buoy, before signaling and waiting to be picked up by the second member of the team on a board. They both paddle to shore and cross the finish line on the beach with the board. The diamond race and beach sprint events also feature on the timetable tomorrow before the event continues on Saturday and Sunday.
Oceans '17 is one of Surf Life Saving New Zealand's biggest events and aims to encourage younger children pursue a future in lifeguarding and surf sport.
The action continues tomorrow from 8.00am at Mt Maunganui where the Oceans'17 athletes will tackle a range of courses. Spectators are welcome and spectator entry to the event is free.
Day 1 points
Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service, 15
Maranui SLSC, 9
Red Beach SLSC, 8
Papamoa SLSC, 8
Omanu SLSC, 7
East End SLSC, 7
Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc, 6
Mairangi Bay SLSC, 6
Whangamata SLSC, 5
Lyall Bay SLSC, 5
Waikanae SLSC, 4
Wainui SLSC, 3
St Clair SLSC, 3
Westshore SLSC, 2
Sumner SLSC, 2
Pacific SLSC, 2
Foxton SLSC, 2
Orewa SLSC, 1
Whakatane SLSC, 1
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Contractor,
Phone 027 515 7157