Surf action heating up

Around the Clubs

As January draws to a close, the summer of surf sports action is just heating up. Last weekend, local juniors and masters both had competitions - this coming weekend, it's the open athletes who get to showcase their skills.

Big teams from the three main local clubs will head up the Coromandel this weekend for the Eastern Region championships, which will feature more than 800 athletes from all over New Zealand.

Denny in action: Omanu stalwart Denny Enright competing in the Eastern Region masters carnival on Sunday.  Photo by Mark Weatherall.


We had a great turnout for the 2013 Papamoa Pak 'n Save Junior Invitational Carnival on Saturday. Over 400 athletes from 14 clubs around the North Island aged between 7-13 years competed in near-perfect conditions at Papamoa Beach.  

Papamoa retained the top club title on 268 points, followed by Mount Maunganui on 206 and Omanu on 169.  Warmer water temperatures would be the only thing that could have been improved an already fantastic day.  Thank you to Pak 'n Save Papamoa for sponsoring the carnival and to Blue Biyou Restaurant and Western Bay Hire for their support.    

Many thanks also to the large team of volunteers that helped make the day a success, the senior athletes who provided water safety, parent helpers, barbeque and sales teams, lifeguards on patrol and helping with arenas, IRB safety crews, surf officials, age group coaches and many others. Well done - we can't do it without you!

Stand-out performers on the day included 8-year-olds Thomas Gadsby (Omanu), Olivia Carr-Manoit (Mount) and Mahina Ross (Westshore), 9-year-olds Lucy Mano and Chanelle West (Papamoa), Daniel Shanahan (Mount) and Kian Grey (Papamoa), 10-year-olds Bella Akroyd (Mount) and Nikki Wright (Papamoa), Thomas Friskney and Kiahi Horan (Omanu). Omanu's Ella Pollock dominated the 11-year-old girls arena, as did Oscar Bark-Riki (Mount) in the boys; Georgia Akroyd (Mount) and Kaylie Hansen (Papamoa) (12-year-old girls) and Papamoa's Mitch Cowdrey and Aidan Smith(12-year-old boys), as well as Maia Bryant and Malia Josephson (Papamoa), Isaac Marshall and Dylan Williams (Mount) in the 13-year-old divisions.

This weekend Papamoa athletes head off to Whangamata for the Eastern Region Championships while the juniors have their Eastern Region champs in Mount Maunganui the following weekend.   Well done to our small team of masters that competed at their Eastern Region event on Sunday, finishing fourth overall.

Both volunteer and regional lifeguards continue to do a great job keeping our beach safe but just a reminder to everyone to stay vigilant about where they swim – if in doubt, stay out, and always swim between the flags to ensure you are in the safest spot.  Regional (paid) lifeguards will be patrolling Papamoa Beach on weekdays until February 8. 

Action from the Papamoa Junior Invitational carnival last weekend. Photos by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Journalism.


A small Omanu junior team attended the Pak 'n Save Papamoa Junior Carnival, with many still away on summer holidays. Regardless, there were still many stand-out performances, no more so than in the under-11 boys where the overall top three - Thomas Friskney , Kiahi Horan and Tom Scott - were all from Omanu.

Other top athletes in their age groups were Ella Pollock (under-12) with Denali Anderson second, Tommy Gadsbey was the top under-8 boy, Joy Mitchell was second in the under-11 girls and Ben Blackwell finished in the under-12 boys, having won the flags and the sprints. Omanu featured in the top three in many of the team events, demonstrating their strength in depth at the club.  

The under-9 Cameron relay team of Penelope Salmon, Grace Scott and Emillie York not only beat all the girl teams but the boys as well.  

Omanu athletes have learnt a lot from their first major competition and with the level of performances from those in attendance and with the holiday makers back into training, the team will keep the hard training up ready for ERC's at the Mount on Feb 2 and 3, and ultimately Oceans 13.

For the first time in the Bay of Plenty, Surf Life Saving New Zealand held an Eastern Region Masters carnival at Omanu and conditions on the day were fantastic with a light offshore and a solid half-metre swell.

Five clubs were represented with an age group range of 30 years up to 80 years of age - a great endorsement of SLSNZ's slogan ‘In it for life'. The day started with the beach events, beach flags, beach relays and beach sprints.

Going into the water events, Mount Lifeguard Service had established an early advantage, with Omanu hot on their heels, with the clubs featuring names like Jarman, Emmett, Oldham, Campbell, Hume and Cribby.

In the end, the Mount were too good and finished up with 132 points over Omanu's 90, closely followed by Papamoa and Whakatane.  The nationals will be the true test in March where the national masters title will be fought out at Mount Maunganui's Main Beach on March 7.

The Omanu senior team and four Omanu boat crews are competing this weekend at Whangamata in the senior ERCs.

Omanu Beach continues to be well patronised, keeping lifeguards busy, with families and groups coming from near and far to enjoy the sun, sand and surf.


Mount Maunganui

We've had another great week of summer weather and gently rolling surf most days here at the Mount. Beach goers have continued to make the most of the pleasant conditions and the beach has been busy most days.  

The water temperatures have cooled off by a couple of degrees in the last week, largely due to the westerly winds pushing the warmer currents further out to seas, but we're hoping the forecast northerly flow in the coming week will see the water quickly warm back up again.

Last weekend was another busy one on the surf sports scene, with our juniors attending the Papamoa Invitational on Saturday and performing very well, earning the club second place overall. On Sunday, the Eastern Region masters champs at Omanu saw a strong Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service team compete very well to take out the overall club title.

We're looking forward to another big weekend coming up with a strong squad attending the Eastern Regional Senior Champs at Whangamata, where we will be defending that overall club title.


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