The visiting Australian branch teams from Central Coast and New South Wales Country will bring yet another perspective to next weekend’s Owen Chapman Cup surf carnival.
They will add to the mix when Red Beach Surf Club plays host to around 400 New Zealand athletes on Saturday 5th January.
This time around, the Cup coincides with a separate tri-series contested between the visiting branch teams and a recently announced SLSNR team. The three teams will clash at three separate carnivals, the first of which takes place the day before the Owen Chapman event.
Now in its 57th year, the Owen Chapman is the longest running club day in Australasia for surf athletes.The event 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.
Over the years the carnival has become a mecca for the region’s lifeguard competitors and big fields have become the norm.
As one of the highlights of the Auckland surf carnival circuit, the event attracts an abundance of top-calibre competitors. Along with Northern Region lifeguards there will be athletes from the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki and Wellington. Several South Island competitors are also expected on the day.
The Owen Chapman carnival ushers in the business end of the surf competition season as athletes begin the countdown to the Eastern Region, Northern Region and NZ Championships. The outing will provide them with opportunities to assess their chances of success at these major events coming up.
Only the clubs from the Northern region are eligible to win the cup which is awarded for most overall points.
The beach events of sprints, relays & beach flags 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 also commence at 9.00 am. The afternoon programme will see the Iron Man and Diamond Lady events, followed by the Taplin relays, surf ski races and relays with surf races wrapping up the day’s competition.
Red Beach is the defending champion, having won the cup 12 months ago.