Young sailors blitz com­pe­ti­tion

The Invercargill Eye - - OUT & ABOUT - RE­BECCA MOORE

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.

PAULA BROWN

Mem­bers of the Te Ara O Kiwa Sea Scouts com­pete in the Lower South Is­land Sea Scout Re­gatta in Cromwell at Labour Week­end.

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