Surf lifesavers from all over the country congregated at Waipu Cove for the BP Surf Rescue New Zealand IRB championships at the weekend.
The three-day event kicked off on Friday, with good conditions for racing. By yesterday the conditions were choppy, and boats could be seen coming off waves at almost 90-degree angles. Event referee Johnny Clough said there was 550 people on the beach each day. There were 27 clubs represented, with 99 crews racing. Each crew was made up of three competitors: one driver, one passenger and one "patient" who was plucked from the sea in a simulated rescue.
Based on overall points, Taranaki club East End took out the title for the fifth year, Dunedin club St Clair came in second and Bay of Plenty club Papamoa third.