About 1,300 athletes competed at Ohope Beach, near Whakatane this morning for the second day of the Eastern Bay Energy Trust New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championship.

Competitors aged 14 and over are fighting for top honours in Surf Life Saving New Zealand's annual national championship which finishes on Sunday.

On Thursday, almost 300 athletes competed, with Omanu Surf Life Saving Club taking the overall day win in the Masters category.

The oldest competitor was 85-year-old Sid Salek from Omanu Surf Life Saving Club, who finished second in his age group for both the beach flags and beach sprint races.


Event manager, Prue Younger said: "They all did an incredible job out there and raced hard but fair, which is obviously great for the sport."

"We had quite a few close finishes today too but that just shows how hard these guys and girls train all year.

"It's great to see how dedicated and passionate these athletes are and I would encourage everyone to come down and see that for themselves," she said.

Spectator entry to the events is free and there are food, drink and clothing stalls on-site.