They're as graceful as swans but synchronised swimmers are working furiously beneath the water to make it appear that way.
Tauranga Synchro is hosting the North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships next month and members are excited to show off their strength, flexibility and aerobic endurance in solo, duet and team routines. It is a beautiful sport, chairperson Shirley Hooper says, but high endurance.
"It's all about what you see above the water. They are like swans on top but under the water they are going mad to keep themselves as high as they can and to appear as graceful as they can.
"It is designed to look easy but underneath it's a different ball game."
A record 100 athletes from seven clubs nationwide are set to compete. Shirley says this will be the largest North Island synchronised swimming championships ever held as the numbers are more typical for national champs. Tauranga hosted the nationals for the first time last year.
Tauranga Synchro's team of 27 girls has some strong contenders in the mix, with some who have represented New Zealand. Senior stars include Jazzlee Thomas, 18, and Eva Morris, 19, who have just returned from the Canadian Open where they secured two bronze medals and are now preparing for the world championships in Budapest in July.
Four Tauranga Synchro athletes have also been selected for the high performance squad aiming to compete in the Malaysia Open in December 2017.
The group is led by three time Olympian Lara Teixeira Cianciarulo from Brazil who has competed at five world championships and won numerous Brazilian national titles.
The champs are held from June 9-11 at Baywave.
The best viewing times for the public will be Saturday June 10 after 3pm and Sunday June 11 after 9.30am.
Tauranga Synchro will also be holding a synchro display for the public on Saturday June 3 from 11am at Baywave.
This is a dress rehearsal for the North Island champs and a good chance to see their routines.