Titahi Bay surf lifesavers celebrate a great season
Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club has plenty to crow about.
The past summer was one of success for the lifesavers and surfboat crews in competition, at senior and junior levels.
Martyn McDowell was the standout, winning three national titles in surf ski events at Ohope Beach recently.
He is overseas now, representing his country in kayaking and has also turned his hand to waka ama in the past 12 months.
He won the open men’s single ski, the open men’s double ski with Todd Grace and open mixed double ski with Erin Taylor at Ohope. No competitor had ever previously won all three surf ski titles.
Titahi Bay athletes made four finals in age group swim events, and two paddleboard races, and recorded three top 10 beach flag finishes. Angus Hermansson won a bronze in the under-16 beach sprint.
‘‘It’s been a great year for both junior and seniors and we were the top finishing Wellington club at nationals out of the Wellington region,’’ the club’s junior surf coordinator, Peter Jones, said. ‘‘Considering we had one of the smallest teams at the nationals [ 33 members], it was a great result.’’
Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club finished 13th overall out of 74 clubs.
In the surf boat arena, all five Titahi Bay crews made their finals. The under- 19 women’s crew took silver in the short course and bronze in the long course, and the open women won bronze in the short course.
The open men’s crew, who are New Zealand representatives, won bronze in the long- course final.
The nippers took two bronze medals from 15 competitors at the junior surf lifesaving champs in February. They placed third overall in the Capital Coast Junior Surf Sport Series.
‘‘There is a good level of awareness out in the community about our juniors,’’ Jones said. ‘‘We’ve had good results and the individual development of skills and beach safety is up there.’’
The club kicked off a memorable summer by celebrating its 75th jubilee last Labour Weekend.
Titahi Bay’s senior lifeguard, Nick Mulcahy, said members made eight rescues and treated six people with first aid over summer.
‘‘It’s been a busy season for us,’’ he said. ‘‘Titahi Bay beach is not the busiest beach, but the conditions can shift, so we’ve been on our toes.’’
More than 1100 volunteer hours were conducted by the 50 lifeguards and Mulcahy said a focus was on more community programmes, too. A session with new migrants, telling them about beach conditions, was one example.
‘‘We want to make the public more resilient and we are trying to be a key facility for Titahi Bay. We want to protect our community in the water.
‘‘There are young people coming through as lifeguards and we will be developing their skills through the winter period.’’
Satisfied: Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club head lifeguard Nick Mulcahy said it was a busy but rewarding summer for his team.
National reps: The Titahi Bay senior men’s surf boat crew wore both Titahi Bay and New Zealand colours over summer.
Champion: Titahi Bay’s Martyn McDowell was dominant in the surf last summer.