Young sailors blitz competition
Members of Bluff’s Te Ara O Kiwa Sea Scouts ’’blitzed’’ competitors at a regatta, making history for the club.
There were 25 members, aged 10 to 18, who attended the Lower South Island Sea Scout Regatta in Cromwell at Labour Weekend, along with 107 other sea scouts.
Scout groups also attended from Dunedin, Oamaru, Christchurch and Nelson, as well as Jellicoe from Invercargill.
During the weekend the scouts took part in competitive rowing, sailing, swimming, seamanship, and a multisport event.
Scout leader Ian Sutherland said Te Ara O Kiwa competed ‘‘very strongly’’ in all aspects of the regatta to win each age group and take the overall win.
They returned with 15 trophies which was a record for the club, he said.
‘‘We’re feeling really good, we’re pretty proud of it really.’’
The Bluff group were advantaged being surrounded by water, with several of the children part of swimming and yacht clubs.
Many of them had grown up with fishermen fathers and watching boats out on the water, Sutherland said.
They loved the competitive nature of the event as well as camping and sleeping in tents.
‘‘It’s action-packed. They’re not just sitting around there all day, it’s flat-out.
‘‘This is now the fourth win in a row for Te Ara O Kiwa and is terrific training and build up for the National Sea Scout Regatta.’’
The nationals, which will be held in Wellington from December 29 to January 6, would be ‘‘a lot more fierce’’, he said.
The scouts were already training twice a week but would increase training closer to the competition.
It would cost more than $30,000 to get the group to Wellington but the Bluff community had been supporting Te Ara O Kiwa in their fundraising efforts, Sutherland said.
Thousands of cheese rolls were sold, and a quiz night and garage sale were held with hundreds of donated goods.
The final fundraising event before the national regatta is the Bluff Rocks! The Big Gig on November 11 at the Bluff Town Hall. Well-known bands Militia, Band of Bluffies, A Chocwork Orange, and The Originals will perform.
Members of the Te Ara O Kiwa Sea Scouts compete in the Lower South Island Sea Scout Regatta in Cromwell at Labour Weekend.