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Waihi Beach Prepares For North Island Surf Boat Championship Ahead Of Trans-Tasman Showdown

The country’s top surf boat crews will be gathering at Waihi Beach this weekend for the North Island Surf Boat Championships.

Taking place on 3 – 4 February, this event marks the culmination of the New Zealand Surf Boat Series, which kicked off with the Capital Coast Classic at Lyall Bay in November.

This year, 41 crews from 16 Surf Life Saving clubs from all around New Zealand will be competing.

Natalie Lloyd, Event Director, said, “This year’s series has been fantastic, and we’re excited to host the final event at Waihi Beach with a packed lineup of talented crews. The surf boats have always been an iconic symbol of surf lifesaving and while they’re no longer used for rescues, they’re still one of the most competitive and popular events at surf lifesaving competitions.”

As well as acting as the final New Zealand Surf Boat Series event, this weekend’s competition will also serve as a crucial training ground for the four crews selected to represent New Zealand in the upcoming Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Challenge (TTSBC).

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) and Surf Life Saving Australia annually select an Open Male, Open Female, U23 Male, and U23 Female surf boat crew to compete. This year the event is being held at Lorne Beach in Victoria Australia on 17 February.

Tanya Hamilton, SLSNZ High Performance Sport Manager, said, “Having the TTSBC take place straight after our major surf boat event means the national crews will get to compete in front of their peers and lots of spectators before heading across the ditch. We hope that a few Kiwis will then head over to support them.”

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The New Zealand TTSBC team is set to assemble in Auckland on 14 February before departing the following day.

Hamilton added, “The Australian’s always provide stiff competition for our crews, and this year is no exception! The Kiwis are determined to give their rivals a solid run for their money in Lorne.”

The announcement of the New Zealand TTSBC captains will be made before the team departs.

Trans-Tasman Surf Boat Challenge Team:

New Zealand Oar Blacks Men

Jean-Paul Smit

Theo Commissaris

Benjamin Scott

Paul Gerritsen

Mark Bourneville (sweep)

Piha Surf Life Saving Club

New Zealand Oar Blacks Women

Grace Western

Hannah Western

Caitlin Knudsen

Joanna Penrose

Dean Isherwood (sweep)

New Brighton Surf Life Saving Club

U23 Men

Alex Joyce

Christian Donkin

Conor Devery

Liam McVicar

Tim Marsden (sweep)

Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club

U23 Women

Molly Brittenden

Natalya Mackenzie

Tobi Oldham

Tyler Lovett

Tom Jacka (sweep)

Piha Surf Life Saving Club

Team Manager

Bruce Matheson

Assistant Team Manager

Jon Copeland

© Scoop Media

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