Sun, surf and sounds for hol­i­day hordes

Coastal News - - News - By ALI­SON SMITH

The sand and surf be­came cen­tre stage for a bumper sea­son of vis­i­tors to Whanga­mata, Pauanui and Tairua over the peak sum­mer pe­riod with day­time events cater­ing to just about every­one.

From world-record clas­sic car gath­er­ings to con­tests that cel­e­brated fit­ness, fish­ing and beauty — there was never a dull mo­ment.

Whanga Week kicked off on De­cem­ber 27 with the GJ Gard­ner 10/5km run start­ing at Whanga­mata Surf Club.

For the fit and fun-lov­ing there was the Ocean Sports Club Clas­sic Har­bour Swim the fol­low­ing morn­ing, which saw swim­mers make their way from Clark Is­land to the wharf.

It was the Golden Homes i-float Craft Chal­lenge the next day, fol­lowed on Sun­day by Whanga­mata¯ Real Es­tate’s Pub to Club Run on a mag­i­cal even­ing when the main beach was still buzzing with sun seek­ers, surfers and fam­i­lies.

The last day of 2018 saw the Z En­ergy Whanga Fun Walk, while Jan­uary 1 got en­trants out of bed for the start — at the re­spectable New Year’s Day hour of 11am — of the Stir­ling Sports Mir­a­cle Mile.

Mean­while in Tairua, the Tairua Surf Club life­guards com­pleted a 4km ocean swim from Shoe Is­land all the way to Tairua Beach, hit­ting the water on a beau­ti­ful New Year’s morn­ing, fresh and bright at 7am. The guards are pre­par­ing for a trip to Hunt­ing­ton Beach in Cal­i­for­nia and have been train­ing hard in an­tic­i­pa­tion.

Tairua School Wine and Food Fes­ti­val, which fea­tured the Jor­dan Luck Band as head­lin­ing act, drew record num­bers.

In Pauanui, a bevy of

The 25th an­niver­sary Tairua School Wine and Food Fes­ti­val event fea­tured the pop­u­lar Sir Ge­orge Grey bar, a replica of the pop­u­lar and his­toric pub that was de­mol­ished in the early 2000s.

PHOTO / PAT COURT­NEY PHOTO / PAT COURT­NEY

LEFT: The sack race at the Barry Wade Pauanui Fam­ily Sports Day. FAR LEFT: Re­lax­ing and tak­ing every­thing in at the Barry Wade Pauanui Fam­ily Sports Day.

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