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Omanu wins SLS masters
Omanu Surf Life Saving Club has taken the win in the iconic masters division by a substantial margin, held today as part of the annual TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championships at New Brighton Beach in Christchurch.
Omanu’s neighbours from Mt Maunganui Lifeguard Service took out second place on 176 points, while a local Canterbury team from Waimairi Surf Life Saving Club took out third with 109 points.
South Brighton Surf Life Saving Club and Taylors Mistake Surf Life Saving club, both from around the Christchurch area, rounded out the top five showing local knowledge may have favoured them today.
The masters division is for surf athletes aged 30 years and over, and takes place prior to the open TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championships which starts Friday and runs until Sunday, featuring over 1,200 athletes in the process.
Interestingly, the oldest athlete competing at the TSB Bank Surf Life Saving Nationals is 92-year-old Sid Salek from the winning team; Omanu Surf Life Saving Club in Tauranga. Despite his age, Mr Salek has proven he still has what it takes to compete by finishing several grueling events including the run-swim-run event, and showing the Omanu Club has talented and skilled athletes ranging from seven years old to 92.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport manager, Mike Lord, says it was a fun and vibrant day at the beach with many of the athletes giving each other a friendly push.
“It is great to have the TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships back in the south island and to see a lot of our southern teams making the most of the opportunity. It’s also great to see the camaraderie between the athletes here with a lot of friendly banter going on.
“Christchurch has also turned on the weather which has been awesome. The surf conditions were reasonably small too but it has made for a fun day today.”
New Zealand’s most southern-most surf life saving club, Oreti Surf Life Saving Club from Invercargill, has managed to climb to 26th after the masters competition while the northern-most club from Orewa near Auckland sits in 17th.
The action begins again tomorrow from 8.00am at the New Brighton Beach in Christchurch and spectator entry is free. There are plenty of food, drink and merchandise vendors at the TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championships for spectators to enjoy.
Masters Points (TSB Bank National Surf Life Saving Championships Day 1):
Full results can be found here: http://liveresults.co.nz/sls
New Brighton beach, Thursday. Photo: Alana McIsaac.
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