Capital wins surf life saving event
Mana Kayak Racing Club members and Olympians Marty McDowell and Kayla Imrie helped Capital Coast win the open division of the New Zealand Surf Life Saving Representative Challenge at Waimarama Beach recently.
With a series of demanding races on land and in the water at the Hawke’s Bay beach on January 15, the team finished less than 10 points ahead of second placed getters Bay of Plenty.
The winning team managed to take top points in most of the team events including the oceanperson relay, comprising of a swim, ski and board elements, board rescue, rescue tube rescue and ski relay.
McDowell, Imrie, and Black Fins Kent and Samantha Lee also competed for Capital Coast in a strong team.
Meanwhile, the youth division - athletes aged 14 to 18 - was equally as close with Taranaki taking the top honours with a total points haul of 125. Only five points behind and in second place was Bay of Plenty while the Gisborne region team were third.
While rain threatened the event, competitors enjoyed a largely dry day with only a few light showers and near flat surf conditions. Event officials said with the surf being less than half a metre, it was an even playing field on the water so a lot of positions were made up during the running sections.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand sport manager Mike Lord said it was a successful event with athletes playing hard but fair in a number of close finishes.
‘‘We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers who made this event happen,’’ he said.
‘‘They worked really hard out there all day to put on a safe and fun event for all of our athletes and their supporters.’’
Many of the events mimic real life rescues for the qualified surf lifeguards, including the rescuetube rescue which sees four competitors from each team participate - a victim, one rescue tube swimmer, and two rescuers.
The victim swims approximately 120m to a designated buoy, signals, and waits to be rescued by the rescue tube swimmer. As they return to shore, the remaining two rescuers enter the water to assist and carry them to the finish line.
It was a busy day of surf life saving competition at Waimarama Beach in Hawke’s Bay on January 15.