The importance of the fundraising role of Waimarama Beach Day was highlighted at Sunday's event when a man drowned after beach patrols were finished.

It's the most popular beach in Hawke's Bay and is the seaside community's most popular day of the year.

Thousands flock to the seaside community for a range of Beach Day events including beach races - surf-club style with a prone start - and a hotly-contested sandcastle competition.

Beach Day is decades old, raising funds for and awareness of the Waimarama Surf Lifesaving Club.

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A road block proved lucrative for fundraising, with a roadside Eftpos option for donations.

Life member Alan Thompson said when he joined the club in 1962 the beach duty roster had a maximum of 10 lifesavers, today it totals 80.

Beach Day Coordinator Debbie Morgan said Beach Day was fun and brings everybody together.

"We are a good family here and it is great when new people come and join us, and put their hands up to help because we get to know more people and they realise what a great community the surf club is," she said.

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