Midway is set to host a big weekend of surf lifesaving as nearly 300 athletes compete in the combined Gisborne and Bay of Plenty Senior Championships.
The Eastland Port 2018 Champion of the Bays will be held across Saturday and Sunday, drawing upon the best of the best from the local Surf Life Saving Clubs, testing athletes' speed and endurance.
Offering almost all of the events to be contested at the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships at Midway in March, the event provides athletes a great opportunity to test out their skills and the location.
Athletes in the Under 16, Under 19, Open and Masters divisions will take on events such as Beach Sprints, Beach Flags, Board and Ski Races and Ironman on Saturday while the Twilight Session will see Under 19 and Open long and short course canoe races and Under 19, Under 20, Under 22 and Open IRB events.
Sunday will be back to the beach for events including Tube Rescue, Board Rescue, Beach Flags, Double and Mixed Double Ski and relays including Taplin, Board and Ski.
Combined points will be collected across the weekend with the Gisborne clubs competing for the coveted Ralph Morse Shield and the Bay of Plenty clubs competing for the BOP Top Club Trophy.
The largest number of participants come from Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service with 68 athletes followed by Waikanae with 62 and Midway with 33. Papamoa is close behind with 32 athletes while Gisborne locals Wainui will have 28.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Gisborne Club Support Manager Renee Wikaire says the event isn't restricted to Gisborne and Bay of Plenty clubs with athletes traveling from as far as Lyall Bay and Paekakariki in the Wellington region along with Coromandel clubs Whangamata and Whiritoa and Auckland's Red Beach.
"It's the first time we've held this event and we're really excited to bring a massive weekend of racing to Gisborne and showcase our lifeguards' talents and skills, she says.
"We're very grateful to Eastland Port for their support of this event and their commitment to safety is obviously a great fit for us."
Located right in the heart of Gisborne city, Eastland Port is one of New Zealand's largest log exporter and the most easterly commercial shipping port in New Zealand.
To find out more about the event, click here.
Renee Wikaire, Gisborne Club Support Manager
Phone 027 963 9189