Sunset Beach Lifeguard Services have again been crowned the BP New Zealand IRB Champions despite a premature end to the weekend, due to tough surf conditions at Waihi Beach.
The defending champions, who also won in 2017 and 2016, held the lead overnight and kept their first place position as racing was cut short and no points were allocated during Sunday's events. However, the team from Port Waikato are known as one of the top IRB clubs in the country and would have continued to push hard throughout the day.
Finishing in second was St Clair Surf Life Saving Club from Dunedin, followed by Taranaki club, East End, in third.
However, Sunset Beach also managed to take home three trophies from the weekend including the Top Open Women's team, Top Open Men's Team, and the Top New Zealand Club. St Clair Surf Life Saving Club also managed to grab two trophies by claiming the Top Under-20 Women's Team award along with the Top South Island Team.
The Top Under-22 Men's Team trophy was a tie between East End Surf Life Saving Club and New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Life Saving Club, while St Kilda won the award for Top Under-19 Men's Team, showing the top teams are from all corners of New Zealand.
BP New Zealand IRB Championships event manager Johnny Clough said while it's disappointing to end the event early, safety comes first, and it was otherwise a great weekend of racing.
"Obviously it's disappointing to end the event early by cancelling a few races but safety is our number one priority. The swell was simply getting too big so we had to make the tough decision to finish the day early.
"In saying that, everything else this weekend was fantastic. There was a lot of great racing and friendly rivalry which was the real highlight of this weekend. The weather did put a bit of a dampener on an otherwise great event but that's the nature of sport."
Mr Clough also wanted to extend his thanks to everyone who helped make the event happen including the local Waihi Beach Surf Lifesaving Club members and sponsors BP New Zealand.
"We wouldn't have been able to have such a good weekend without the support of so many people, including all the event volunteers and our hosts from Waihi Beach. We have certainly enjoyed our time here and have to also thank the local community for making us feel so welcome."
"We would also like to extend our congratulations to Sunset Beach for winning the title again. They have done a fantastic job all weekend, as have all the other athletes who took part from around the country."
See more online by searching #IRBnats18 and #SLSNZ, or view full results online here http://liveresults.co.nz/161
The BP New Zealand IRB Championships marks the end of the 2017-2018 Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport season, which kicks off again in spring.
Points by Association
Sunset Beach LS, 60
St Clair SLSC, 35
East End SLSC, 30
St Kilda SLSC, 25
Mairangi Bay SLSC, 23
Warrington SLSC, 14
New Plymouth Old Boys, 14
Waimarama SLSC, 12
Westshore SLSC, 6
Paekakariki SLSC, 6
Sumner SLSC, 5
Waikanae SLSC, 4
Fiztroy SLSC, 4
Waihi Beach Lifeguard Services Inc, 4
Papamoa SLSC, 3
Waipu Cove SLSC, 3
North Beach SLSC, 3
Phone: 027 515 7157