Nelson Surf Lifesaver Jess Larson (closest to the camera) sprints off with the rest of the female board race during Sunday’s Nelson Surf Club Carnival. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Surf lifesavers tackle Tahuna beach

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The sight of dozens of surf lifesavers diving into the water at Tahunanui Beach would usually be cause for some concern, but over the weekend it was all for sport.

The Nelson Surf Lifesaving Carnival was a competition hosted by the Nelson club, along with the West Coast’s Kotuku club and Marlborough’s Rarangi club. Nelson Surf Lifesaving Club captain Aaron Lyttle says the carnival was a huge success with sunny days and plenty of action in the water and on the beach.

“It was fantastic.

“The first day was all about IRB racing and the Sunday was the beach sports.”

The IRB racing included the inaugural running of the ‘Run to the Bay’ where teams had to get from Tahunanui Beach to Cable Bay and back as quick as they could. The race was won by the Rarangi club ahead of two Christchurch teams, a West Coast team and a Nelson team.

The second day of the carnival featured beach sprints, beach flags, surf races, board races and a ski race.

Aaron says the flat water made for tough work for surf competitors.

“Even though we have no surf in Nelson, it’s actually really hard work – because you can’t catch a ride on the way back so you’re working the whole time,” he says.

Aaron says the event featured 45 local children in the Nippers classes and about a dozen senior local lifeguards.

Anyone who is interested in getting involved with surf lifesaving in Nelson can contact Aaron at nelsonslsc@gmail.com