Locals relish challenging conditions at Eastern Regional Championships
The Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service team has taken an early lead on the first full day of the 2018 Eastern Regional Championships (ERCs), held in Tauranga this weekend.
Following the twilight session held last night, the event continued from 8.00am this morning with 850 athletes from around New Zealand that saw Mt Maunganui finish the day 35 points ahead of their nearest rival.
With 75 athletes, who are also qualified lifeguards, the Mt Maunganui team is one of the biggest but their knowledge of local surf conditions have boosted their results today.
Coming in second is Waikanae Surf Lifesaving Club who finished with a 13 point buffer over third place getters, Piha Bay Surf Life Saving Club, ahead the final day taking placetomorrow. Although with dozens of points up for offer tomorrow, the “game is far from over” and second place could still go to any of the top teams.
Rounding out the top five in fourth is Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club with 38 points, only one point behind Piha SLSC, with Omanu Surf Life Saving Club in fifth on 32 points. Omanu SLSC also has a number of top national athletes set to take part in their strongest events tomorrow, meaning they too could be chasing down a podium.
ERCs Event Manager, Mark Inglis, said it has been a challenging day despite “ideal weather conditions” and added the competitors have done extremely well with the relatively big surf.
“The weather has been perfect today but the surf conditions made everything a little trickier. We had a solid swell for most of the day which really tested the athletes but they embraced it and showed us why they are the best in the region.
“Tomorrow is shaping up to a stunner and everyone is really looking forward to it. There are a lot of clubs in contention for podium places so I’m sure it will make for some close racing with athletes pushing themselves to the limit.”
The final day of the ERCs starts tomorrow from 7.30am at Mt Maunganui beach in Tauranga, followed by the New Zealand Representative Challenge on Monday. Entry for spectators is free at both events.
Eastern Region Championships – Top 5 After Day One
- Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service, 87
- Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club, 52
- Piha Surf Life Saving Club, 39
- Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club, 38
- Omanu Surf Life Saving Club, 32
For more results, including race-by-race results, visit this link: http://liveresults.co.nz/140
The attached images are free to use for editorial purposes. They show athletes in action today at the Eastern Regional Championships at Mt Maunganui. Please credit the photographer (Cameron Walker or Alana McIsaac) as noted in the file name.