Piha Day of Giants & Ironman Invitational – ‘Where Nerves of Steel meet the Iron sands’
Here’s a quiz question for you. On which Auckland-based beach, once a year, is it possible to learn the spirit of a person, of what mettle they are made of? The answer is simple – it is the Iron sands of Piha Beach and the infamous Day of Giants where competitors in the big surf event discover what they are made of.
On Saturday 13 February, the Day of Giants, which started in 2006, will set the scene at Piha Beach. Described by local legend, and record holder ‘Horse’ Mark Bourneville, as “surf boats biggest wave event of the year,” the 2021 event is set to be no different. Despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, the event committee were determined for this spectacle to go ahead, and with the support of Burger Fuel and Marin Construction Limited, a competitive field is expected on the day. Whilst the usual rivalries witnessed with our neighbours from across the ditch will have to wait for another year, the fierce competition between local boat crews from across New Zealand will surely not disappoint all those that come to watch.
For the first time, this hugely popular event is joined by the inaugural Ironman and Ironwoman Invitational. Sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson, this Ironman event providing prize money to the victorious on the day, has been designed to ensure spectators get up close and personal with the action, with competitors returning to the shore after each lap.
Around 50 participants are expected to take part in the Day of Giants which starts at 11.30am, with 25 competitors signing up for the Ironman and Ironwoman Invitational which commences at 2pm. Historically, Piha competitors have always done well when competing on their own turf, however as Boat Captain Gracey Monteith will be the first to tell you, “anything can happen at Piha”
Piha SLSC’s fantastic lifeguards will be on patrol helping to keep our community safe in the water. As always, please help them keep you safe by choosing to swim between the flags. In addition to this, a team of 40 volunteers will help on the day providing support for the course set-up, marshalling the event, parking and overseeing the movement of boats, skis, trailers and other event equipment.
There will be a water station on the beach for thirsty competitors and spectators, however the ever-popular Piha SLSC Clubhouse will be open for bar food and refreshments from midday to 7pm. Long standing President of Piha SLSC Peter Brown is ‘delighted to welcome members and non-members alike to witness a day to remember and makes special thanks to our sponsors and supporters who have made this event possible, in a difficult year for all’.
Public parking is available in the domain in Piha, next to the Piha Bowling Club. This is a waste-free event – please take all your rubbish with you.
Pre-event online registration for Boat crews closes on the morning of the event and costs $100 per team to enter. All competitors in the Ironman and Ironwoman races have been selected for their form in previous events and some very close battles are expected on the day.
For further information go to https://www.pihaslsc.com/day-of-the-giants
Pictured: Participants from 2019 just clearing the breakers