Double-win for DHL International Surf Rescue Champions
Australia has taken the third and final test [day] victory, plus the overall event win, after a convincing performance at the 2017 DHL International Surf Rescue Challenge (ISRC) held this week in Mt Maunganui.
Held since 1999, the event attracted seven countries from around the world to compete head-to-head here in New Zealand for the title of International Surf Rescue Champions, and as an added bonus, allows teams to prepare for next year’s Surf Life Saving World Championships.
The New Zealand Black Fins finished in second closely behind the dominant Australian team with their own stunning performance but say they will fight back at the World Championship event next year to retain their title as the current World Champions.
Taking the final spot on the podium in third was the United States of America (USA) who fought back after a loss yesterday to climb back up the leader board and finish ahead of fourth placed getters South Africa by 22 points.
Rounding out the top five was Japan, who ended the DHL ISRC only eight points behind South Africa.
The British and Canadian teams finished in sixth and seventh respectively after the three-day event.
Australia also won the youth category by 15 points over the New Zealand Junior Black Fins meaning they take home several trophies this weekend. South Africa finished in third, while Great Britain and USA finished in fourth and fifth respectively in the under-19 competition.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport manager Mike Lord said the event was a “huge success” and it was “an honour” to host the six visiting nations.
“We are proud to have hosted this event and shown the world how fantastic the beaches are here in New Zealand. The DHL International Surf Rescue Challenge was really well received all around the world and it was great to see so many supporters cheering on their team through social media,”
“So congratulations to all the athletes and the team management for their fair, yet fierce competitive spirit and putting on a good show. The result wasn’t guaranteed until the final event finished and that’s a real testament to the quality of competition here this week.”
“I also want to thank all the officials, volunteers and event management for their tireless effort in putting this event on. We’re hearing from teams that this one of the best ones yet, but it also wouldn't have been possible without the support from our generous sponsors,” Mr Lord added.
Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said the Tauranga City Council is proud to support the DHL International Surf Rescue Challenge and said “events like this are so much more than just a sports competition.”
“The surf rescue challenge showcases our city and its natural environment to athletes and their supporters from all over the world, including Australia, Great Britain, South Africa, USA, Canada and Japan.”
Mr Brownless added events like the DHL ISRC “build community spirit and local pride, promote our region to an international audience and boost the local economy. This event highlights the capacity and capability of Tauranga to host major events to a national and international audience.”
Alongside the DHL ISRC, the Tri-Nations Trophy was also contested at the event which includes New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. Australia has dominated the Tri-Nations Trophy since it started and have continued their winning streak this weekend.
With the DHL ISRC now wrapped up, the next major event on SLSNZ’s sport calendar is the Eastern Region Championship held on January 27th and 28th, followed immediately by the New Zealand Representative Challenge on January 29 in Mt Maunganui.