The second round of the New Zealand Surf Boat series, held at the Whangamata Surf Boat Spectacular in Coromandel on January 2nd, has seen over 30 teams go head-to-head in the annual event organised by the Trust Waikato Whangamata Surf Life Saving Club.
While the North Beach Beavers won the Open Men's division at Whangamata, the Piha A crew maintain their lead by two points in the overall surf boat series. However, the Mairangi Bay Merkins sit second equal in the series alongside the North Beach Beavers, while Muriwai Moonshine are only another two points back in third, meaning the next round will be crucial for the open men teams.
In the Open Women's division, the Muriwai Meerkats extended their lead by taking first in Whangamata, also making it two-from-two in the process after winning the first round in Mt Maunganui. Chasing them in second and third respectively are the two Red Beach crews.
Meanwhile, in the Under 23 Men the Sunset Beach team have extended their lead and now sit 18 points ahead of their nearest rivals in the overall series. The Under 23 Women is a closer battle with the Orewa team leading the series by six points after taking the age-group win in Whangamata. However, the Red Beach team is chasing them with both the Waihi and Piha teams sitting third equal, only a further four points adrift.
Conditions were sunny although relatively flat creating more rowing work for the surf boat crews, as they couldn't ride any waves on their return to shore. While it added extra work to their races, the crews loved it and say Whangamata is still one of their favourite places to compete.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) sport manager Mike Lord said, "The Whangamata Surf Boat Spectacular is a fantastic event and again has been well run by the Whangamata Club and volunteer officials."
He added that "it's exciting to see crews return year after year to support the event," which is a trend he hopes continues in 2018.
The next round of the New Zealand Surf Boat Series is set to be held at Fitzroy Surf Life Saving Club on 13 January, followed by the fourth and final round at Waihi Beach in early February.
For more results, including the Under 19 and Masters divisions, please click here.
The single day event was also the final selection round for both the Open Men and Under 23 Men teams to represent New Zealand at the Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Challenge in Australia next month. For more information about the High Performance selections, click here.