bp New Zealand IRB Championships Wraps Up After Challenging Weekend

Monday, 17 April 2023

Wild weather caused major disruptions at the bp New Zealand IRB Championships held at Waihi Beach over the weekend.


The event, which saw 122 crews from 30 clubs, including one from Australia, competing in a number of intense Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB) races, was scheduled to take place over Saturday and Sunday. However, because of strong winds and rough seas, the competition faced significant challenges.


On Saturday a full day of racing was able to be carried out with the six finals in the Mass Rescue Competition completed. Sunset Beach TA took the Open Female Mass Rescue title, followed by Ruakaka in second and Sumner KHS in third.


In the Open Male Mass Rescue, Sunset Beach SH came out on top, with Paekakariki A in second and Westshore A in third.


Unfortunately, the weather conditions deteriorated significantly overnight and Sunday’s racing was cancelled for safety reasons, and no other finals could be completed. 


After months of training and with members travelling from all around the country, crews were understandably disappointed.  Event Manager Luke Smith expressed his appreciation for all those involved, saying “thank you to everyone who got their crews to Waihi Beach for a weekend of racing.  Weather conditions are out of our control and at the end of the day, the safety of crews is paramount.


“We want to thank all of the volunteer officials and event water safety teams for their hard work and dedication.  The crews should be proud of themselves for displaying impressive skills in challenging conditions.”




Mark your calendar for next year’s event!  The bp New Zealand IRB Championships will be held at Waikouaiti Beach in Dunedin on the 23rd and 24th of March. 


For more on the 2023 results, click here