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Mount lifeguards crowned champions

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service have been crowned the 2018 Under-14 New Zealand Surf Life Saving Champions. Supplied photo.

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service have been crowned the 2018 Under-14 New Zealand Surf Life Saving Champions after the final day of racing was cancelled due to weather and swell conditions today.

The Oceans 18 event officials had to make the tough decision this morning on what was to be the last day after the swell meant they could not set up the course and ensure that racing would be fair to all athletes.

Oceans 18 event manager Scott Bicknell says it’s a disappointing way to end such a fantastic event, but fairness and safety are the main priorities.

“Obviously we’re disappointed that we had to cancel the last day of racing, but the athletes’ wellbeing is our top priority, along with providing fun but fair racing conditions. We weren’t going to be able to do that today due to the conditions so we had to make that decision and it was definitely our last resort option.

“Although we have to pass on a huge congratulations to Mount Maunganui on winning Oceans 18 this year. They raced well all weekend and deserve the win. I would also like to thank and congratulate all the other athletes for their effort this weekend, especially Lyall Bay and Whakatane who fought hard to finish on the podium.”

The next major event on the SLSNZ calendar is the South Island IRB (Inflatable Rescue Boat) Championship next weekend at Warrington Beach, followed by the TSB New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships, commonly referred to as ‘Nationals’, on March 15-18 in Gisborne.

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