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Central Regional Championships and Surf Boat Series round 3

10 January 2019
Central Regional Championships and Surf Boat Series round 3 to create a packed day of action at New Plymouth’s Oakura Beach on Saturday

This weekend lifeguards from Auckland to Christchurch will line up to see who is fastest, strongest, and most skilled at a range of surf lifesaving sports, at Oakura, just south of New Plymouth.

On Saturday 316 athletes from 17 clubs will take part in the 2019 Surf Life Saving New Zealand Central Regional Championships, and round 3 of the national Surf Boat Series, both hosted by New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Life Saving Club.

The two events combined will make for a cram-packed day of exciting competition, says Surf Life Saving Central Region Sport Manager Richard Whinham.

“It’s great to have a round of the National Surf Boat Series as part of the Central Regional Championships again this year, it makes for an exciting and varied day of competition with lots to see.

“The athletes at these events enjoy getting the chance to watch the other events, and are really supportive of each other, so it’s a good atmosphere, with some hot competition.”

The surf boat series competition attracts crews from around the North Island, with a crew from Christchurch also booked to attend, Whinham says.

“It is still early but at this stage, but conditions are looking perfect for surf lifesaving competition, with light winds and a bit of a wave in the forecast.”

The series started on December 6 at Whangamata, and includes six rounds, with the last on February 23 and 24th at Omaha Beach, near Warkworth.

Currently, an Orewa team is leading the open men’s competition, and a Muriwai team is leading the open women’s division.

Last year, the series open titles were won by Christchurch’s North Beach team, and the Muriwai women’s team.

Surf boats are the oar-powered open wooden boats, predominantly only used for sport purposes now but were made famous for rescuing people from the stranded Wahine over 50 years ago in Wellington.

Teams must work perfectly in unison, with powerful oar strokes, and know how to balance and steer the boats through rough waves together. This sometimes results in spectacular displays as the boats hit walls of water and the crews brace themselves against what can seem like almost-vertical angles, producing semi-aerial displays as they push through the breaks.

The competition should offer some gripping viewing, and great displays of skill, Whinham says.
Many of the surf lifesaving athletes are gearing up for SLSNZ’s upcoming national events, so will be in good form for the Central Regional to ensure they’re ready for the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in March.

“The Central Regionals make an ideal local testing ground, with many athletes trying to enter as many competitions as possible, and hot competition for the kudos of taking home a Central Regional Championships title, or claiming top club.”

Events in the Central Regional Championships include iron-person events, beach sprints, beach flag races, and ski and board races.

Competition starts at 8.30am, Saturday January 12, at New Plymouth Old Boys Surf Life Saving Club on Tasman Parade in Oakura.

Summary by AssociationLocationParticipants
Bethells Beach SLSPAuckland11
East End SLSCNew Plymouth50
Fitzroy SLSCNew Plymouth23
Levin-Waitarere SLSCLevin1
Lyall Bay SLSCWellington27
Maranui SLSCWellington16
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service IncKumeu17
New Plymouth Old Boys SLSCNew Plymouth9
Ocean Beach Kiwi SLSCHastings21
Orewa SLSCOrewa5
Paekakariki Surf LifeguardsPaekakariki35
Piha SLSCAuckland26
Sunset Beach LSWaikato10
Titahi Bay SLSCPorirua42
Waimairi SLSCChristchurch5
Waimarama SLSCHawkes Bay12
Westshore SLSCNapier6


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