Members from North Beach compete at a range of local, national and international surf life saving events in teams such as Surf Boat, Canoe, IRB as well as individual competitors competing across all disciplines in Junior and Senior level.
The paddle board is used not only in sport but as a major rescue craft to save people in the sea. A paddle board event starts standing on the beach then a sprint start into the water where paddlers jump onto their knees or stomach to paddle the board through the waves around three buoy and back to the beach for a sprint finish up the sand.
Boards range in sizes for junior surf and can be fibre glass or foam type construction down to body boards for our young nippers. Competitors also race a board or body board relay event which involves three competitors in a team each completing the board course before running and tagging their next competitor.
There are many different swimming events on offer at competitions. These include surf race, run swim run, surf teams race. With up to 48 competitors lining up for the start of a surf race it is an event you don't want to miss.
Competitors sprint off the start line and wade then duck dive through the shallows before starting to swim and negotiate the waves. Once clear of the waves, competitors swim around a set of buoys before turning towards shore to swim back to the beach or catching a ride home on a wave.
Our core business, tube rescue is an exciting event to compete in while utilizing different skills of a four person team. A patient first swims from the shore out to an allocated buoy and raises their arm to signal for the rescuer to proceed out to see and clip the patient into a rescue tube before swimming them back into the shore.
When the patient is close enough to shore another two competitors will perform a patient drag up the beach finishing through their allocated flags.
Strength, power and stability is what is required to rocket a ski through the waves around three buoys and back to the beach. Athletes start paddling skis from 14 years and above and are amazing to watch in the surf and the skill of competitors to control the craft. Competitors also race a ski relay event which involves three competitors in a team each completing the ski course before running and tagging their next competitor.
Double Ski - The fastest craft on the water a double ski event is a must watch. Two paddlers power the craft similar to a ski event, starting standing in the water and launching onto the ski and propel it forward out through the waves, around three buoys out at sea before returning to the shore to finish.
Do you have a need for speed and power? ...then IRB racing is for you. Our IRB's travel through the surf at around 50kph and can tackle some very large surf conditions. IRB racing sees crews competing in a range of different style events being single rescue, assembly rescue, tube rescue, mass rescue and teams race.
Similar to other pre or post season events you may also see long distance IRB events being held around our beautiful coastline. Our IRB racing crews are highly skilled being able to negotiate a range of conditions at speed to perform rescues at speed.
A fantastic team event has embedded the surf canoe into the New Zealand events programme as something unique to us. Four paddlers using waka style paddles propel the double hull canoe through the surf around one buoy out at sea before returning back to shore to finish either in the water or a run up the beach by one team member.
Up to seven canoes can race at a time creating some great viewing from the beach. Distance for this event are approximately 200m short course or 400m long course style racing. Some pre season type events also include longer distant paddle races.
An exciting event which sees competitors starting laying down facing away from the beach flag batons located 10m, 15m or 20m away (depending on age) then pushing up off the sand to sprint and dive to get a beach flag. This event is similar to musical chairs where there is one less beach flag to competitors, so eliminating competitors each cycle until there is only one winner. Spectators can get up close to view beach flags and watch all the high agility action as it unfolds.
Teams of four athletes race and in back and fourth relay race up and down the sprint track in their lanes. The beach relay baton will pass over behind the change over lines at pace until all four competitors have completed their lengths of the track. This event is great fun as a team and fast pace with high drama when the changeovers don't quite go to plan.
2km Beach Run:
Leg burner, this event is what it sounds like...2kms of running on sand, generally run in 500m lengths along the beach. You will be amazed at the pace competitors can achieve in this event. In junior competitions we hold a 2km beach relay which caters for all ages with 4 runners racing a length of the 2km total run. Lengths are broken into 800m, 600, 400m and 200m lengths.
The iron events are the endurance events of surf life saving, with competitors completing three different legs of the event (ski, board and swim) this makes for an action packed race that can change leaders every leg depending on a competitors strength.
For our younger competitors they compete in a diamond event which involved swim and board legs. Other team relay type events include taplin's, cameron relays and grand cameron's which involve swim, running, board and sometimes ski for senior competitors. These relay events are fast paced and full of action.
Our largest craft on the water sees four rowers and one sweep who steers the crew through the surf and back to shore, row the surf boat from a standing position in shore out through the waves, rounding one buoy at 200m or 400m distance before heading back to shore to finish either in the water or a run up the beach.
These boats are fantastic to watch and require real team effort to row together through challenging conditions. Crews also team up with other crews (three in a team) within their club to race in the surf boat relay event which involves crews completing the course and then tagging their next crew to do the same.