New Zealand’s Finest Inflatable Rescue Boat Crews to Compete at Ruakaka

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Press Release

April 8, 2021

[Image: Shane Edwards (green and black top) is one of the many competitors gearing up for this weekend’s bp Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships]

Competitive IRB (inflatable rescue boat) racing will reach its zenith this weekend at Northland’s Ruakaka Beach.

More than 300 Surf Lifeguards comprising 97 crews from 25 Surf Life Saving clubs throughout Aotearoa New Zealand are set to descend on Saturday for the bp Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships. Both male and female crews will compete across several events, each requiring varying levels of technical skill and physical fitness.

Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service’s Shane Edwards, whose crew will compete this weekend, says the event is one of Surf Lifesaving Sport’s biggest highlights.

“This will be my 11th year competing in the bp Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships and would have been my 12th if Covid-19 hadn’t forced the cancellation of last year’s event,” he says.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend. The competition at bp Surf Rescue North Island Championships in Gisborne was intense and I think there’s going to be some incredible skill on show.”

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Sports Event Manager, Mark Inglis, says this two-day event will be packed with speed, technical skill and fierce competition.

“We encourage beachgoers and local community members to come down to the beach this weekend and watch the action taking place on the water,” he says.

“IRBs are used in countless rescues on New Zealand beaches every year. These races replicate skills needed in real-life rescue scenarios and the athletes taking part in this event are all active Surf Lifeguards. It’s incredibly exciting to watch.”

bp Head of Country NZ, Matt Elliott, says bp is proud to support the “iconic” national event.

“We know that a significant percentage of beach rescues involve IRBs and the bp Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships are a chance to witness, first-hand, the skill and strength involved in this important aspect of Surf Lifesaving.”

The bp Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships will be held at Ruakaka Beach on April 10 - 11. Races kick off at 8am and continue throughout the day.

This event is the final major competition in the Surf Lifesaving Sport season calendar and follows on from the bp Surf Rescue North Island Championships and bp Surf Rescue South Island Championships held earlier in the year.

Clubs attending

Bethells Beach SLSP

Brighton SLSC

East End SLSC

Kariaotahi SLSC

Lyall Bay SLSC

Mairangi Bay SLSC

Mt Maunganui LS

New Plymouth Old Boys SLSC

Omanu SLSC

Opunake SLSC

Paekakariki SL

Pauanui SLSC

Red Beach SLSC

South Brighton SLSC

St Clair SLSC

St Kilda SLSC

Sumner SLSC

Sunset Beach LS

Taylors Mistake SLSC

Waihi Beach LS

Waikanae SLSC

Waimarama SLSC

Waipu Cove SLSC

Warrington SLSC

Westshore SLSC




For more information please contact:


Mackenzie Koppel

Media and Communications Manager

Surf Life Saving NZ

021 757 433