Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service have won the 2018 New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships by 62 points after a three-day battle in Gisborne against 44 surf lifesaving clubs.
After being only two points ahead heading into the final day, Mount Maunganui put on a stellar performance to win the championship by securing a total of 166 points.
Mairangi Bay were second on 104 points with local team Waikanae third on 94 points.
Omanu and Orewa finished on fourth and fifth respectively, finishing only five points apart after the three days of full-on racing.
Over the course of the event, results are compiled to give an overall top male athlete, top female athlete and top team. These were awarded to Daniel Shanahan from Mount Maunganui (three gold medals), Danielle McKenzie from Mairangi Bay (eight gold medals and one silver medal) and Mount Maunganui Under-19 Men's Taplin Teams (finished first, second and third in the Under-19 Taplin final).
TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships event manager Scott Bicknell says the event was "a huge success" and the athletes were passionate and dedicated all weekend.
"We had a few challenges along the way with the weather but ultimately the event ran smoothly. All the athletes really enjoyed themselves and Midway Beach has again proven it's a great venue for an event like this."
Bicknell says the passion for the sport really shone through over the weekend among the athletes.
"Even if you weren't on the beach, you knew when there was a final taking place because the crowd would just go nuts cheering for their friends. It's that passion that made it such an exciting event because they put everything on the line each day, and that's reflected in some of the results like the lifesaver relay.
"We would also like to congratulate Mount Maunganui for another convincing win. They are such a dedicated team and this win shows that."
Western Bay athletes feature prominently in the New Zealand squads named after the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in Gisborne yesterday.
New Zealand Open squad
Jess Miller, Libby Bradley, Olivia Eaton, Oliver Puddick, Mount Maunganui; Kodi Harman, Madison Kidd, Natalie Peat, Papamoa; Max Beattie, Murdoch Finch, Omanu
New Zealand Development squad
Scott Cowdrey, Daniel Hart, Papamoa; Hamish Miller, Lincoln Waide, Mt Maunganui
New Zealand Youth squad
Daniel Shanahan, Declan Dempster, Lochlainn O'Connor, Tessa Bradley, Mt Maunganui; Kiahi Horan, Molly Shivnan, Sophie Sandford, Thomas Scott, Omanu; Aidan Smith, Mitch Cowdrey, Papamoa