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