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Athletes shine in cold conditions

Athletes shine in cold conditions at TSB Bank Surf Life Saving Championships

Hundreds of superstar lifeguard-athletes have displayed their talent during the second day of the TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championship as the competition to take the overall title heats up at New Brighton in Christchurch in less-than-ideal conditions.

The athletes proved why they are the best lifeguards in the country today by pushing through some cooler south island weather which dipped as low as 13 degrees, as well as pushing each other to the limit to secure every point possible for their club.

In fact, Liam Chesney from Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club managed to win both the under-16 and under-19 two-kilometre beach run event, while taking third in the open class against more experienced athletes.

TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championships event manager Prue Younger said “this is an incredible achievement. To run three two-kilometer beach races within the space of an hour on soft sand, and get a medal in every single one of them, is just fantastic. A huge congratulations to Liam [Chesney] for his amazing effort and result.”

However, it’s still the Bay of Plenty based Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service who continue to lead the event with 93 points heading into the final day tomorrow. Although Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club of Gisborne could still be a threat as they finish the day in second after a strong performance including a win in the under-19 women’s board rescue [one swimmer, one board paddler].

Rounding out the podium in third is Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club from Auckland who are sitting on 42 points, just head of Hawkes Bay team Ocean Beach Kiwi who are in fourth place on 37 points.

The top placed southern team is Waimairi Surf Life Saving Club who are currently in eighth place but with another day of potentially chilly and windy weather forecast tomorrow, the southern teams could have a quiet advantage of their northern rivals.

Although Ms. Younger said while the weather was cooler than yesterday, it didn’t affect the event too much.

“The weather wasn’t the big challenge we expected today although it did get cold enough to warrant athletes the option of wearing wet suits,” said Ms. Younger, “but aside from the cold, it was a pretty good day and the weather certainly didn't put a dampener on things here.”

The final day of the TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championships begin tomorrow at 8.00am, starting with a special Lifesaver Relay Exhibition Race. While the exhibition race is not a point-scoring race, athletes will compete for club pride across five surf life saving sport disciplines.

The Lifesaver Relay Exhibition Race consists of a short course boat race, 120 metre ocean swim, a short beach sprint, along with a board [paddle-board] and ski [similar to a kayak] component.

Top 5 points after Day 2:

Club Points
Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service 93
Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club 73
Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club 42
Ocean Beach Kiwi Surf Life Saving Club 37
Piha Surf Life Saving Club 27

Full results can be found here:


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