bp Surf Rescue North Island Championships Set to Make a Splash at Waikanae Beach

Friday, 12 February 2021

Press Release

February 12, 2020

[Image: Surf Lifeguards compete in the 2020 bp Surf Rescue North Island Championships]

Surf Lifeguards from across Aotearoa New Zealand are set to showcase their skills and fitness at Gisborne’s Waikanae beach this weekend for the bp Surf Rescue North Island Championships.

This adrenaline-packed event is one of the largest inflatable rescue boat (IRB) competitions in the Surf Life Saving calendar and has a proud history of hard, fast, action-packed racing.

Surf Lifeguard crews compete across several events, each requiring varying levels of technical skill and physical fitness. With surf and weather conditions constantly changing, the competition has proven to be one of the most exciting competitions to watch.

At this year’s event, more than 150 of the nation’s finest male and female IRB crew members, representing 16 Surf Life Saving Clubs, will line up to flaunt their skills, fitness and experience against their peers.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Events Manager, Mark Inglis, says this is the first year where the iconic event is being held at Waikanae Beach and that members of the public are encouraged to join in the excitement.

“We encourage visitors 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 about 80% of rescues on New Zealand beaches. These races replicates 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” event.

“We know that the majority of beach rescues involve IRBs and the bp North Island IRB Championships are a chance to witness, first-hand, the skill and strength involved in this important aspect of Surf Lifesaving.”

The bp Surf Rescue North Island Championships is the first national IRB event for the year and will be held at Waikanae Beach on February 13th & 14th. Races kick off at 8am on both Saturday and Sunday and continue throughout the day.

The bp Surf Rescue South Island Championships will be held at Otago’s Waikouaiti on Saturday, March 27th.

Both of these iconic events lead up to the 2021 bp Surf Rescue New Zealand Championships, which will be held at Northland’s Ruakaka Beach on April 10th & 11th.

Clubs attending

Bethells Beach Surf Life Saving Patrol

East End Surf Life Saving Club

Kariaotahi Surf Life Saving Club

Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service

Omanu Surf Life Saving Club

Opunake Surf Life Saving Club

Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards

Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club

Sumner Surf Life Saving Club

Sunset Beach Lifeguard Service

Waihi Beach Lifeguard Service

Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club

Waimarama Surf Life Saving Club

Waipu Cove Surf Life Saving Club

Westshore Surf Life Saving Club




For more information please contact:


Mackenzie Koppel

Media and Communications Manager

Surf Life Saving NZ

021 757 433