Bay clubs in beach battle

DOING THE HARD WORK: Athletes from the three Gisborne surf lifesaving clubs — Midway, Waikanae and Wainui — take part in a training session as they vie for places in Gisborne/Tairawhiti representative teams. Selectors Dion Williams, Cory Hutchings, Matt Sutton and Carl Newman will pick the teams following the Eastland Port 2018 Champion of the Bays event taking place at Midway Beach tomorrow and on Sunday. Those chosen will compete against teams from seven other regions at the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Representative Challenge at Mt Maunganui on January 29. Picture supplied

NEARLY 300 athletes will converge on Midway Beach this weekend for the combined Gisborne and Bay of Plenty senior surf lifesaving championships.

The Eastland Port 2018 Champion of the Bays will draw on the best of the best from local and visiting surf lifesaving clubs, testing their speed and endurance.

It will offer almost all of the events to be contested at the national surf lifesaving championships at Midway in March, giving athletes an opportunity to test their skills and the location.

And local competitors have the added incentive of selection for the Gisborne/Tairawhiti team to contest the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Representative Challenge at Mt Maunganui on January 29. The representatives will be chosen after this weekend’s competition.

Points will be collected across the weekend. The coveted Ralph Morse Shield will be contested by the Gisborne clubs — Wainui, Midway and holders Waikanae — while the Bay of Plenty Top Club Trophy will be at stake for the Bay of Plenty clubs.

Athletes in the under-16, u19, open and masters’ divisions will compete in beach sprints, beach flags, board and ski races, and ironman tomorrow. In the twilight session, u19 and open long- and short-course canoe races and u19, u20, u22 and open IRB events will be held.

On Sunday it will be back to the beach for tube rescue, board rescue, beach flags, double and mixed double ski races, and taplin, board and ski relays.

The biggest club entry is from Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service with 68 athletes, followed by Waikanae with 62 and Midway with 33. Papamoa will have 32 athletes competing and Wainui will have 28.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Gisborne club support manager Renee Wikaire says the event is not restricted to Gisborne and Bay of Plenty clubs.

Athletes will be in Gisborne from clubs as diverse as Lyall Bay and Paekakariki in the Wellington region, Whangamata and Whiritoa on the Coromandel Peninsula, and Red Beach in Auckland.

“It’s the first time we’ve held this event,” Wikaire said.

“We’re excited to be bringing a massive weekend of racing to Gisborne and showcasing our lifeguards’ talents and skills.

“We’re very grateful to Eastland Port for their support of this event.”

Entry numbers by club (in alphabetical order): Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club 21, Midway SLSC 33, Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service 68, Omanu SLSC 21, Opotiki SLSC 5, Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards 2, Papamoa SLSC 32, Pukehina Surf Rescue 4, Red Beach SLSC 1, Waikanae SLSC 62, Wainui SLSC 28, Whakatane SLSC 13, Whangamata SLSC 7, Whiritoa Lifeguard Service 2.

NEARLY 300 athletes will converge on Midway Beach this weekend for the combined Gisborne and Bay of Plenty senior surf lifesaving championships.

The Eastland Port 2018 Champion of the Bays will draw on the best of the best from local and visiting surf lifesaving clubs, testing their speed and endurance.

It will offer almost all of the events to be contested at the national surf lifesaving championships at Midway in March, giving athletes an opportunity to test their skills and the location.

And local competitors have the added incentive of selection for the Gisborne/Tairawhiti team to contest the Surf Life Saving New Zealand Representative Challenge at Mt Maunganui on January 29. The representatives will be chosen after this weekend’s competition.

Points will be collected across the weekend. The coveted Ralph Morse Shield will be contested by the Gisborne clubs — Wainui, Midway and holders Waikanae — while the Bay of Plenty Top Club Trophy will be at stake for the Bay of Plenty clubs.

Athletes in the under-16, u19, open and masters’ divisions will compete in beach sprints, beach flags, board and ski races, and ironman tomorrow. In the twilight session, u19 and open long- and short-course canoe races and u19, u20, u22 and open IRB events will be held.

On Sunday it will be back to the beach for tube rescue, board rescue, beach flags, double and mixed double ski races, and taplin, board and ski relays.

The biggest club entry is from Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service with 68 athletes, followed by Waikanae with 62 and Midway with 33. Papamoa will have 32 athletes competing and Wainui will have 28.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Gisborne club support manager Renee Wikaire says the event is not restricted to Gisborne and Bay of Plenty clubs.

Athletes will be in Gisborne from clubs as diverse as Lyall Bay and Paekakariki in the Wellington region, Whangamata and Whiritoa on the Coromandel Peninsula, and Red Beach in Auckland.

“It’s the first time we’ve held this event,” Wikaire said.

“We’re excited to be bringing a massive weekend of racing to Gisborne and showcasing our lifeguards’ talents and skills.

“We’re very grateful to Eastland Port for their support of this event.”

Entry numbers by club (in alphabetical order): Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club 21, Midway SLSC 33, Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service 68, Omanu SLSC 21, Opotiki SLSC 5, Paekakariki Surf Lifeguards 2, Papamoa SLSC 32, Pukehina Surf Rescue 4, Red Beach SLSC 1, Waikanae SLSC 62, Wainui SLSC 28, Whakatane SLSC 13, Whangamata SLSC 7, Whiritoa Lifeguard Service 2.

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