Our Water­ways NZ cham­pi­ons

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Paper, Your Place - REXINE HAWES

It’s ca­ma­raderie and a com­pet­i­tive spirit that drives four fire­fight­ers to com­pete in the Water­ways Chal­lenge.

The four-man team of Lyn­don Johns, Eddy Bauke­mar, Dane Low, David Vuglar and coach Marty Prescott re­cently earned the ti­tle, Na­tional Water­ways Chal­lenge cham­pi­ons.

This win means the team will now rep­re­sent New Zealand in Carteron at the Aus­tralasian Com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber.

The Water­ways Chal­lenge is an op­por­tu­nity to put hoserun­ning and pump-op­er­at­ing skills to the test in a fun and com­pet­i­tive en­vi­ron­ment.

The Water­way Sea­son is made up of four re­gional or two Is­land events an­nu­ally and one ad­di­tional na­tional event held ev­ery two years.

The win for Mata­mata comes on the back of an un­de­feated Water­ways Chal­lenge sea­son over two years.

The team dom­i­nated at each of the Gold­fields, Auck­land Provin­cial and North Is­land Cham­pi­onships.

To add to the list of ac­co­lades, Mata­mata was the only team to com­plete the na­tional chal­lenge penalty free, which also helped it break a 82-point tie with the Ran­giora team.

‘‘It came down to the wire on the day. Mata­mata had the fastest run­ning time and no penal­ties and that broke the tie,’’ said Prescott.

‘‘There was lots of whoops, we were pretty jolly.’’

To pre­pare for com­pe­ti­tion, the team trains once a week, 12 weeks prior to the be­gin­ning of the sea­son in Novem­ber.

Ef­forts are dou­bled six weeks out, which Prescott says cer­tainly paid off on the day of na­tion­als.

‘‘It’s been awe­some, re­ally good. We did a lot of train­ing and put the hard yards in. They earned all they’ve got that’s for sure.’’

This is the first time the team has won the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, hav­ing placed within the top three in pre­vi­ous years.

De­spite feel­ing a bit ner­vous prior to each chal­lenge, the men say they love it.

‘‘We love the chal­lenge,’’ said Vuglar.

‘‘You meet a lot of good peo­ple and you stay friends with them. It’s all about ca­ma­raderie.

‘‘Our big­gest strength is we are just a good bunch of mates and we are all re­ally com­pet­i­tive too.

The Mata­mata brigade is now faced with a small dilemma - where to put all the tro­phies?

SUPPLIED

The Mata­mata Fire Brigade four man team Lyn­don Johns, Eddy Bauke­mar, David Vuglar, Dane Low, and coach Marty Prescott.

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