New Zealand’s top surf athletes will descend on Red Beach on Saturday 6th January for the annual Owen Chapman Cup Surf Carnival.
They will be out to impress a number of district selectors who will be on hand to pick their squads for the surf league teams. These teams will contest the Lion Foundation Surf League at Mount Maunganui in February.
Over the years the carnival has become a mecca for the region’s lifeguard competitors and big fields have become the norm. The club’s organisers are expecting a large turnout which may well eclipse the record 300 competitors who attended the 50th year of competition for the cup last January.
The Owen Chapman carnival has always been contested at Red Beach, having been first held there in 1957 as a picnic carnival for Auckland’s east coast surf clubs.
Now one of the highlights of the Auckland surf carnival circuit, the event attracts an abundance of top-calibre competitors. Joining the Auckland lifeguards will be competitors from the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Wellington. And some of their counterparts from the South Island are also expected at the event.
The carnival will also provide opportunities for competitors to assess their chances of success at the Northern Regional Championships coming up at the end of January.
Only clubs from the Auckland district are eligible to win the Owen Chapman Cup which is awarded for most overall points.
Surf races kick off the programme which gets under way at 9.00 am. They will be followed by board races for both men and women and then the board relays. The surf boat and surf canoe series of races commence at 10.30 am. The afternoon programme will see the Iron Man and Diamond Lady events, with beach sprint, relays and beach flags wrapping up the day’s competition.
Red Beach is the defending champion, having won the cup on the past two occasions.