Weather fails to dampen athlete mindset at TSB Surf Lifesaving Championships




The 83-strong Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service team have extended their lead at Surf Life Saving New Zealand’s (SLSNZ) pinnacle event of the year, the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships taking place this weekend in Gisborne.


North Beach surf boat crew hitting a wave

credit Cameron Walker

Worsening weather conditions made racing trickier than usual today but it was no barrier for the dominant team Bay of Plenty team who pushed their lead out to 75 points.


Local team Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club has kept pushing hard and continue to hold second place, but now sit 16 points behind the leading team heading into the final day tomorrow.


Rounding out the podium in third is Mairangi Bay Surf Life Saving Club who end the day on 33 points.


Interestingly, clubs from each of the four SLSNZ regions throughout New Zealand are represented in the top 11, again showing how talented surf lifeguards are right around the country.


In an rare twist, a father and daughter duo managed to win the mixed double ski race, a feat not often seen in any sport or surf lifesaving. Todd and Phoebe Grace from Titahi Bay took first place in the challenging race and were clearly overjoyed with the win where they celebrated with more family on the beach.


TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships event manager Scott Bicknell said today has been “completely different” to yesterday but still “very rewarding and enjoyable”


“Today has been the complete opposite from yesterday in terms of the weather but we’ve had no complaints. The athletes are all enjoying the racing despite the wind, rain and big swell today so from our point of view, it has been another hugely successful day.


“Tomorrow will be a big day for the athletes with a busy schedule and a lot of key final events. There are a lot of points to be won, plus tomorrow could make all the difference for a lot of clubs in terms of their overall result so it will certainly be an exciting day of racing.”


Tomorrow marks the last day of the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships which starts at 8.00am and continues until approximately 3.00pm.


Todd and Phoebe Grace from Titahi Bay SLSC – the father and daughter duo who won the mixed double ski race today


Join the conversation online with #Surfnats18 and #SLSNZ.


You can view results from today and throughout the weekend at this link:


TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships – Top 5 results after Day 1

  1. Mt Maunganui LS, 75 points
  2. Waikanae SLSC, 59 points
  3. Mairangi Bay SLSC, 33 points
  4. Omanu SLSC, 25 points
  5. Piha SLSC, 24.5 points