Historic double again for Mount lifeguards


Mount Maunganui surf lifesavers have again created history, successfully defending their title at the national pool rescue championships in Auckland over the weekend.

The Bay of Plenty club again holds both the pool-based Paul Kent Memorial Trophy and beach-based Alan Gardner Trophy, after becoming the first New Zealand club to hold both crowns last season.

Their record-breaking performance in Auckland saw them amass 162 points over the three-day competition, pulling 51 points clear of second-placed Orewa, with Mairangi Bay a distant third on 79 points.
Included in their 28 gold medals were an incredible 13 relay wins, setting 14 nationals records along the way including the event-ending open mega relay. Lochlainn O’Connor lead the individual charge in the under-16 boys’ division, winning five finals, while Tarquin Magner (under-13) and Daniel Shanahan (under-14) were close behind with four and three golds respectively.
“We had some exceptional individual performances but I was just so proud at how the entire team stepped up,” Mount coach John Bryant said. “Pretty much every swimmer we took up set a PB and we just couldn’t seem to miss. To have those two trophies sitting side-by-side in the clubroom again is something all our athletes can cherish.”
Libby Bradley and Daniel Barron both won gold in the under-19 division too, with Bradley setting a new national record in the 50m manikin carry.
Final points: Mount Maunganui 162, Orewa 111, Mairangi Bay 79, St Clair 71, Red Beach 56, Lyall Bay 51, Piha 47, Sumner 36, Fitzroy 33, Omanu 32.

Half century of saving lives

Mt Maunganui stalwart made a member of the NZ Order of Merit

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Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service life member Kent “KJ” Jarman has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queens Birthday Honours for services to surf lifesaving. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media

After a lifetime patrolling and responding to emergencies on his favourite stretch of beach in Mount Maunganui, it takes a lot to fluster Kent Jarman.

One brief letter announcing he’d become a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit managed to do the trick though.

The 65-year-old surf lifesaver – affectionately known as KJ – sat down with a thump, disbelief etched on his weathered dial, and needed a few minutes to compose himself when the correspondence from Government House arrived.  Even now that he’s had a chance to digest things, his Queen’s Birthday Honour is still struggling to sink in.

“I’m gob-smacked, to be honest – I really am,” Jarman admitted. “It’s quite humbling because you don’t do stuff like this thinking one day you might be recognised.  It’s also humbling because I’ve spent 50 years doing something that I’ve loved, hanging out at beaches with great people, having fun.”

Jarman’s wife Shelley Kerr – a fellow life member of the beloved Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service – recorded the moment on her iPad to show their grandchildren.  It was another proud moment in a lifetime of surf lifesaving service for the pair.

The Order is awarded to those “who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits”.

“I’ve spent 50 years doing something that I’ve loved, hanging out at beaches with great people, having fun.”

Jarman’s surf CV covers that criteria rather nicely.  As well as club life membership, he’s also a life member of Surf Life Saving Bay of Plenty and Surf Life Saving New Zealand.  He’s been a national champion athlete, New Zealand representative, coach, club captain, chairman and president, with 42 years as a patrol captain and 29 years as an IRB instructor.

Yet those labels only tell half the story.  He was a 16-year-old Tauranga Boys’ College schoolboy when he first joined the movement, convinced by a club member who’d spotted him at school swimming sports. Following stints with Omanu and Wellington’s Lyall Bay club, he joined Mount Maunganui in 1974 and has been on deck ever since.

He has no idea of the numbers of lives he’s saved but he’s prevented at least one fatality every single year he’s been on patrol.  Some years have been busier than others; he once rescued 25 people in an eventful 2hrs at the Main Beach using an IRB. He’s also fitted a career as a builder around those countless rescues, the hundreds of volunteer hours each summer and the dozens of emergency call-outs each year, all while mentoring dozens of younger members coming through.

Those fresh faces, so often looking to Jarman for guidance, have in turn kept him going.
“Kicking around with young people keeps you young.  I love it – the younger ones don’t cut me a lot of slack and I’m expected to keep up with them but that’s cool and hopefully there’s a little bit of respect there. That’s all part of it because it keeps you grounded.”

When he’s not on patrol, you’ll find him surfing, sailing or swimming, with some basketball thrown in for good measure.  And the good news for Bay of Plenty beachgoers?  He’s had a dodgy shoulder repaired in the last 12 months and has come back fitter than ever.

“Age is a state of mind.  Your body may tell you that you’re getting older but it doesn’t mean you have to think like an old person. Life’s still got a few chapters to go yet.”

Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services
Kent Jarman patrolling during a recent Round the Mount swim. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media


Sunday - Kent Jarman directs searchers
Kent Jarman (in black) during a search and rescue operation at the Main Beach. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media

Peat back for BOP champs


Papamoa’s Natalie Peat will add depth to the open women’s ranks at this weekend’s Bay of Plenty senior surf lifesaving championships. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media

Papamoa’s Natalie Peat will make a long-awaited return to New Zealand surf lifesaving competition, amid testing Tay St conditions at this weekend’s Bay of Plenty senior championships.

The 21-year-old Australia-based Kiwi representative hasn’t raced at home since breaking her foot at the International Surf Challenge in September but she’ll proudly pull on her blue-and-yellow cap alongside nearly 300 other athletes from nine different clubs this weekend.

Papamoa coach Matt Cairns is relishing having Peat back, while he’s also looking forward to the unique format of the championships, which sees IRB racing and masters racing included.

“Natalie will bring a lot of professionalism and guidance for our younger athletes and we’re delighted to have her back,” Cairns said. “”We’ve been pushing a one-club, one-team philosophy and it’s going to be really good to share the beach, not only with our IRB team but with our masters as well.  We’ve been combining for boot camp-style sessions all year and the IRB guys have started to cross over and race other events on the beach as well – they’re really excited about this weekend.”

Papamoa will have the second-biggest team (62) at the carnival, behind national champions Mount Maunganui.  Despite missing nearly two dozen top athletes to university or overseas commitments, Mount are bringing 86 open and masters athletes to the two-day carnival.

Making her masters debut for the Mount will be former New Zealand representative swimmer Penelope Strickland-Armstrong, who is now a world-ranked SUP paddler but with so many of his senior squad away, Mount coach John Bryant has one eye firmly on next month’s national championships in Whakatane.

The number of Bay of Plenty and Coromandel athletes has jumped this year, while athletes from a handful of other North Island clubs – such as Wellington’s Lyall Bay, Gisborne’s Waikanae and Hawke’s Bay’s Waimarama – will also attend.

This week’s miserable weather is expected to clear for the 10am start time on Saturday morning, with offshore winds helping groom the predicted 1.5m swell.

Screenshot 2016-02-18 14.55.25
This weekend’s surf forecast for the Bay of Plenty senior surf lifesaving championships at Tay St. Courtesy of http://www.marineweather.co.nz

Lifeguards relish Zespri sponsorship

Maketu’s Mark Redmond will be attending surf lifesaving’s National Lifeguard School in Whangamata this weekend. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Maketu surf lifesaver Mark Redmond will create a little bit of history this week, becoming the first person from his club to attend National Lifeguard School in Whangamata.

And while he’s looking forward to leaping out of a helicopter and learning advanced rock-rescue skills, he’s unlikely to be the last from Maketu to get that opportunity, thanks to recently-announced sponsorship by kiwifruit marketing giant Zespri.

The Mount Maunganui-based company has committed $400,000 to backing lifeguard education in the Eastern Region, covering Coromandel, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne, for the next three years.

Each year, Zespri will fund up to eight scholarships to National Lifeguard School, provide leadership opportunities, cover the cost of regional IRB training camps and patrol captain courses and sponsor the annual awards of excellence.

That’s music to the ears of 19-year-old Redmond, who has spent his four years in the surf lifesaving movement doing all he can to build his knowledge.  He’s already a qualified IRB crewman and driver, has worked as a patrol captain and has passed all three first aid levels on offer.

“I’ve always looked up to lifeguards and respected what they do in the water and in the community,” Redmond said. “It’s pretty rewarding to give something back, by getting as skilled as I can, and the more qualifications I get through, the more I want to try for.”

His mum Angelique has been heavily involved in the revival of the club in the last five years and Redmond’s two siblings have also joined.  The teenager, who hopes to have a future career as a paramedic or involved in the medical profession, has now started to train younger lifeguards at the club, working towards his instructor’s certificate.

“One of the guards that I’ve trained is going to intermediate lifeguard school next week, so hopefully he’ll be getting the chance to go to National Lifeguard School one day soon too.”
Maketu chairman Mike Hickson said Zespri’s lifeguard education funding would make a huge difference, especially to little clubs like his own.

“Because we’re a lower socio-economic area and a lot of our guards are young, we get a lot of turnover, as kids head off to university or join the navy or move elsewhere for work,” Hickson explained.  “While we’ve got them, we try to give them as much expertise as possible, sending them on courses and upskilling them.  Sending Mark to National Lifeguard School is recognition of his abilities but it’s also going to be hugely beneficial for the younger guards he’s bringing through.”

Hickson explained the kiwifruit industry was a huge part of the Maketu and wider Te Puke region and many kiwifruit growers, packhouse staff and seasonal workers were frequent users of the idyllic Bay of Plenty beach.

This weekend’s course will see five lifeguards from Eastern Region taking part, with Waihi Beach’s Ellena Regan joining Gisborne mother and son Michelle and Connor Mitchell and Hot Water Beach’s David Hotham.  An earlier intake in Taranaki in December saw 19 lifeguards from all over the country receive their Advanced Lifeguard award, the highest qualification offered by Surf Life Saving New Zealand.

Caption: Surf Life Saving New Zealand chairman Geoff Hamilton (left) and Zespri deputy chairman Bruce Cameron celebrate Zespri’s new sponsorship of the lifesaving organisation. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Omanu on track for title defence

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Omanu’s Kiahi Horan in the board race at the Eastland Port Eastern Region junior championships in Gisborne. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Omanu’s strong squad of junior surf lifesavers gave themselves the perfect lead-in to next month’s under-14 national championships, claiming the Eastern Region club title in Gisborne over the weekend.
The Bay of Plenty club, seeking a third consecutive win at Oceans 16, finished 23 points clear of Waikanae at the Eastland Port-sponsored carnival at Midway Beach.
Omanu finished on 146 points, with Waikanae (123), Papamoa (105) and Mount Maunganui (103) rounding out the top-four.
Amid stunning sunshine and a perfect half-metre of a swell, nearly 450 juniors from 15 North Island clubs battled it out over two days, testing their skills in seven divisions, from under-8 to under-14 ages.
There were some impressive individual performances, not least in the youngest division, where Papamoa’s Vinnie Baggott won the run-wade-run, the board race, the diamond race and the beach sprint.
Between them, Omanu’s Thomas Gadsbey and Gus Shivnan won six of the nine gold medals on offer in the under-12 boys’ division, including taking out the board relay and tube rescue titles, adding silver in the beach relay for good measure.
Papamoa’s Lewis Farr was another to showcase his versatility, winning the board race, the run-swim-run and the beach sprint in the under-14 division, Isabella Ackroyd (Mount Maunganui) won three golds in the under-14 girls’, while her clubmate Daniel Shanahan clean-swept the water events in the under-13s.
Mahina Ross (Westshore) was superb in the under-12 girls’, collecting the surf race, run-swim-run, board race and diamond race crowns, although Mia Gardiner (Mount Maunganui) pushed her all the way, while Jamie Julian (Whakatane) emulated Ross in the under-10 boys’, adding bronze in the beach flags.
The swimming and sprinting ability of Mount Maunganui’s Lulu Johnson helped her take three golds home in the under-10 girls’ division, while Midway’s Angus Blair also collected a golden treble in the under-11 boys.
Among the smaller teams, Mairangi Bay pocket-rocket Star Te Aukura collected all 11 of her club’s points, with wins in the surf race and diamond race and silver in the board race and beach flags.  She had a great agegroup tussle with Whangamata’s Ruby Sussock, who won the board race and run-swim-run, and finished second in the surf race and diamond race.
Otaki’s Daisy Davis (girls’ run-swim-run) and Damien Doyle (boys’ surf race) both collected bronze in the under-14 division, while , Jasmine McLeery (Hot Water Beach) picked up silver in the under-12 beach sprint.
There were also impressive performances from the Whakatane team, finishing fifth overall and pipping locals Midway and Wainui (48 points each).

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Action from the Eastland Port Eastern Region junior championships at Midway Beach. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services



Results from the Eastland Port Eastern Regional junior championships at Midway Beach, Gisborne, from February 13-14:

Surf race: Kiahi Horan (Omanu) 1, Thomas Scott (Omanu) 2, Damien Doyle (Otaki) 3. Run-swim-run: Lewis Farr (Papamoa) 1, Cole Price (Orewa) 2, Thomas Scott (Omanu) 3. Board race: Lewis Farr (Papamoa) 1, Kiahi Horan (Omanu) 2, Hector Munro (Mt Maunganui) 3. Diamond race: Thomas Scott (Omanu) 1, Cole Price (Orewa) 2, Lewis Farr (Papamoa) 3. Beach sprint: Lewis Farr (Papamoa) 1, Nazareth Te Huna (Wainui) 2, Kirk McNabb (Westshore) 3. Beach flags: Nazareth Te Huna (Wainui) 1, Thomas Friskney (Omanu) 2, Will Pittar (Midway) 3. Board rescue: Horan/Schuler (Omanu) 1, Pickett/Van Kregten (Waikanae) 2, Farr/Millington (Papamoa) 3. Tube rescue: Picket/Proctor (Waikanae) 1, Horan/Schuler (Omanu) 2, Wagstaff/Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 3. Board relay: Friskney/Scott/Horan (Omanu) 1, Munro/Burns/Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 2, Tapper/Allen/Gordon (Whangamata) 3.
Surf race: Isabella Akroyd (Mt Maunganui) 1, Olivia Gray (Westshore) 2, Kaitlin Cotter (Westshore) 3. Run-swim-run: Isabella Akroyd (Mt Maunganui) 1, Brooke Willock (Waikanae) 2, Daisy Davis (Otaki) 3. Board race: Kaitlin Cotter (Westshore) 1, Emily Julian (Whakatane) 2, Georgia Pitkethley (Waikanae) 3. Diamond race: Isabella Ackroyd (Mt Maunganui) 1, Kaitlin Cotter (Westshore) 2, Lily Alton (Mt Maunganui) 3. Beach sprint: Kaitlin Cotter (Westshore) 1, Nikki Wright (Papamoa) 2, Emily Julian (Whakatane) 3. Beach flags: Christy Tate (Waikanae) 1, Emily Julian (Whakatane) 2, Olivia Gray (Westshore) 3. Board rescue: Akroyd/Alton (Mt Maunganui) 1, Cotter/Gray (Westshore) 2, Willock/Pitkethley (Waikanae) 3. Tube rescue: Morrison/Tate (Waikanae) 1, Wright/West (Papamoa) 2, Cotter/Gray (Westshore) 3. Board relay: Waikanae 1, Waikanae 2, Mt Maunganui 3.
Mixed beach relay: Dods/Pickett/Willock/Tate (Waikanae) 1, Farr/Stephenson/Wright/Puchner (Papamoa) 2, Cotter/Minor/Clere/Horsefield (Westshore) 3.
Grand Cameron: Waikanae 1, Omanu 2, Mt Maunganui 3.
Surf race: Daniel Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 1, Jack Hitchfield (Papamoa) 2, Nathan Proctor (Waikanae) 3. Run-swim-run: Daniel Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 1, Nathan Proctor (Waikanae) 2, Jack Hitchfield (Papamoa) 3. Board race: Daniel Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 1, Clayden Hope (Waikanae) 2, Oliver Gordon (Whangamata) 3. Diamond race: Daniel Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 1, Jack Hitchfield (Papamoa) 2, Nathan Proctor (Waikanae) 3. Beach sprint: Sam Mason-Green (Wainui) 1, Tanner Baxter (Omanu) 2, Jack Hitchfield (Papamoa) 3. Beach flags: Tanner Baxter (Omanu) 1, Sam Maso-Green (Wainui) 2, Kian Grey (Papamoa) 3.
Surf race: Astaria Te Aukura (Mairangi Bay) 1, Ruby Sussock (Whangamata) 2, Molly Shivnana (Omanu) 3. Run-swim-run: Ruby Sussock (Whangamata) 1, Molly Shivnan (Omanu) 2, Astaria Te Aukura (Mairangi Bay) 3. Board race: Ruby Sussock (Whangamata) 1, Astaria Te Aukura (Mairangi Bay) 2, Lucy Mano (Papamoa) 3. Diamond race: Astaria Te Aukura (Mairangi Bay) 1, Ruby Sussock (Whangamata) 2, Molly Shivnan (Omanu) 3. Beach sprint: Briana Irving (Waikanae) 1, Jess Harray (Waihi Beach) 2, Eden Kelly (Papamoa) 3. Beach flags: Eden Kelly (Papamoa) 1, Astaria Te Aukura (Mairangi Bay) 2, Briana Irving (Waikanae) 3.
Under-13 mixed beach relay: Irving/Wilson/Hope/Proffit (Waikanae) 1, Glover/Cook/Baxter/Kirk (Omanu) 2, Gordon/Parker/Sussock/Robinson (Whangamata) 3.
Surf race: Gus Shivnan (Omanu) 1, Lachie Falloon (Waikanae) 2, Jack Keepa (Wainui) 3. Run-swim-run: Gus Shivnan (Omanu) 1, Jack Kepper (Wainui) 2, Lachie Falloon (Waikanae) 3. Board race: Thomas Gadsbey (Omanu) 1, Lachie Falloon (Waikanae) 2, Jack Keepa (Wainui) 3. Diamond race: Gus Shivnan (Omanu) 1, Lochie Falloon (Waikanae) 2, Jack Keepa (Wainui) 3. Beach sprint: Jack Keepa (Wainui) 1, Michael Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 2, Blake West (Papamoa) 3. Beach flags: Blake West (Papamoa) 1, Jack Keepa (Wainui) 2, Jacob Wyllie (Midway) 3. Tube rescue: Shivnan/Gadsbey (Omanu) 1, Falloon/Willock (Waikanae) 2, Campbell/Julian (Whakatane) 3. Board relay: Gadsbey/Shivnan/Baxter (Omanu) 1, Falloon/Hansen/Harding (Waikanae) 2, Keepa/Evans/West-Hill (Wainui) 3.
Surf race: Mahina Ross (Westshore) 1, Mia Gardiner (Mt Maunganui) 2, Emily Moore (Midway) 3. Run-swim-run: Mahina Ross (Westshore) 1, Mia Gardiner (Mt Maunganui) 2, Emily Pilbrow (Papamoa) 3. Board race: Mahina Ross (Westshore) 1, Emily Pilbrow (Papamoa) 2, Mia Gardiner (Mt Maunganui) 3.
Diamond race: Mahina Ross (Westshore) 1, Mia Gardiner (Mt Maunganui) 2, Hannah Richardson (Mt Maunganui) 3. Beach sprint: Scarlett Glover (Omanu) 1, Jasmine McLeery (Hot Water Beach) 2, Sofia Zame (Wainui) 3. Beach flags: Manaia Peina (Papamoa) 1, Giorgia Hart (Waikanae) 2, Sofia Zame (Wainui) 3.
Tube rescue: Gardiner/Wilson (Mt Maunganui) 1, Fergus/ Gaddum (Midway) 2, Pilbrow/Thompson (Papamoa) 3. Board relay: Ross/Klem/Barclay (Westshore) 1, Gardiner/O Carr-Manoit/M Carr-Manoit (Mt Maunganui) 2, Salmon/Scott/Bartlett (Omanu) 3.
Under-12 mixed relay: West/Forbes/Peina/Pilbrow (Papamoa) 1, Glover/Scott/Gadsbey/Shivnan (Omanu) 2, Willock/Hansen/Hart/Kapene (Waikanae) 3.
Surf race: Liam Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 1, Ethan Millington (Papamoa) 2, Mitchell Bark-Riki (Mt Maunganui) 3. Run-swim-run: Angus Blair (Midway) 1, Ethan Millington (Papamoa) 2, Liam Shanahan (Mt Maunganui) 3. Board race: Angus Blair (Midway) 1, Matthew Robinson (WGN) 2, Nathaniel Allen (Whangamata) 3. Diamond race: Angus Blair (Midway) 1, Nathaniel Allen (Whangamata) 2, Matthew Robinson (Whangamata) 3. Beach sprint: Tyrone Herring (Whakatane) 1, Tigher West-Hill (Wainui) 2, Daniel Nicholson (Waihi Beach) 3. Beach flags: George Allan (Waikanae) 1, Tyrone Herring (Whakatane) 2, Quinlan Woodhouse (Mt Maunganui) 3.
Surf race: Jessica Carey (Omanu) 1, Grace Akroyd (Mt Maunganui) 2, Lucy Bartlett (Omanu) 3. Run-swim-run: Jessica Carey (Omanu) 1, Poppy Wilson (Mt Maunganui) 2, Lucy Bartlett (Omanu) 3. Board race: Olivia Gaddum (Midway) 1, Kendyl Cowley (Whangamata) 2, Maya Carr-Manoit (Mt Maunganui) 3. Diamond race: Lucy Bartlett (Omanu) 1, Jessica Carey (Omanu) 2, Zeta Schuler (Waihi Beach) 2. Beach sprint: Riley Wood (Whangamata) 1, Lucy Bartlett (Omanu) 2, Maya Carr-Manoit (Mt Maunganui) 3. Beach flags: Riley Wood (Whangamata) 1, Zara Potter (Wainui) 2, Lucy Sandford (Omanu) 3.
Under-11 mixed relay: Reynolds/Schuler/Nicholson/Nicholson (Waihi Beach) 1, West-Hill/Emerre/Allan/Potter (Wainui) 2, Curragh/Hall/Bartlett/Sandford (Omanu) 3.
Surf race: Jamie Julian (Whakatane) 1, Te Manewha (Omanu) 2, Gene Baggott (Papamoa). Run-swim-run: Jamie Julian (Whakatane) 1, Te Manewha Rikihana (Omanu) 2, Gene Baggott (Papamoa) 3. Board race: Jamie Julian (Whakatane) 1, Rico Kelly (Papamoa) 2, Jack Lepper (Midway) 3. Diamond race: Jamie Julian (Whakatane) 1, Gene Baggott (Papamoa) 2, Rico Kelly (Papamoa) 3. Beach sprint: Logan West (Papamoa) 1, Rico Kelly (Papamoa) 2, Matt Schuler (Waihi Beach) 3. Beach flags: Rico Kelly (Papamoa) 1, Zachary Bryant (Omanu) 2, Jamie Julian (Whakatane) 3. Board relay: Gardiner/Reeder/Richardson (Mt Maunganui) 1, Baggott/Kelly/West (Papamoa) 2, Parker/Rikihana/Bryant (Omanu) 3. Beach relay: Pearson/Baggott/West/Kelly (Papamoa) 1, Schuler/Hart (Waihi Beach) 2, Kemp/Starr-Naske (Waikanae) 3. Cameron relay: Kelly/West/Baggott,Pearson (Papamoa) 1, Glover/Parker/Rikihana/Bryant (Omanu) 2, Hart/Schuler (Waihi Beach) 3.
Surf race: Lulu Johnson (Mt Maunganui) 1, Milana Tapper (Whangamata) 2, Renee Carey (Omanu) 3. Run-swim-run: Lulu Johnson (Mt Maunganui) 1, Milana Tapper (Whangamata) 2, Caitlyn Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 3. Board race: Caitlyn Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 1, Ella Arthur (Wainui) 2, Sophie Petro (Midway) 3. Diamond race: Caitlyn Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 1, Sophie Petro (Midway) 2, Milana Tapper (Whangamata) 3. Beach sprint: Lulu Johnson (Mt Maunganui) 1, Meg Harray (Waihi Beach) 2, Chiara Woodford (Waihi Beach) 3. Beach flags: Danielle Fowler (Omanu) 1, Lulu Johnson (Mt Maunganui) 2, Ella Arthur (Wainui) 3. Board relay: Woodford/Harray/Maddison (Waihi Beach) 1, Anderson/Fitzharris/Petro (Midway) 2, McIntyre/Perano/Reid (Midway) 3. Beach relay: Harray/Woodford/Swain/Maddison (Waihi Beach) 1, Anderson/Petro/McIntyre/Reid (Midway) 2, De La Haye/Johnson/Mitchell/Carnachan (Mt Maunganui) 3. Cameron relay: Beaufoy/Williams/Ingoe/Wilson (Waikanae) 1, Johnson/Marshall/Bainbridge/Nijssen (Mt Maunganui) 3.
Run-wade-run: Henry Scholes (Mt Maunganui) 1, Yahni Brown (Midway) 2, Jesse Humberstone- Kara (Whakatane) 3. Board race: Christian McNamara (Omanu) 1, Braith Swanberg (Omanu) 2, Yani Brown (Midway) 3. Diamond race: Henry Scholes (Mt Maunganui) 1, Christian McNamara (Omanu) 2, Sam Gaddum (Midway) 3. Beach sprint: Harry Burns (Omanu) 1, Lucas Ludwig (Waikanae) 2, Solomon O’Connor (Midway) 3. Beach flags: Lukas Ludwig (Waikanae) 1, Lochlan Wood (Whangamata) 2, Harry Burns (Omanu). Board relay: Fergus/Gaddum/Brown (Midway) 1, Burns/Swanberg/McNamara (Omanu) 2, Julian/Humberstone,Kara,Hipkiss (Whakatane) 3. Beach relay: Humberstone/Kara/Julian/Hipkiss/Christie.(Whakatane) 1, Burns/Swanberg/McNamara/Shivnan (Omanu) 2,  Alexander/Gollan/Gaddum/Brown (Midway) 3. Cameron relay: Christie/Esterhuizen/Hipkiss/Humberstone Kara (Whakatane) 1, Brown-Terekia/Fergus/Gollan/Brown (Midway) 2, Burns/Sanberg/McNamara/Shivnan (Omanu) 3.
Run-wade-run: Jessica Pilbrow (Papamoa) 1, Rubi Hart (Waikanae) 2, Anika Cowley (Whangamata) 3. Board race: Rubi Hart (Waikanae) 1, Jessica Pilbrow (Papamoa) 2, Anika Cowley (Whangamata) 3. Diamond race: Jessica Pilbrow (Papamoa) 1, Chloe Kapene (Waikanae) 2, Zara Burns (Mt Maunganui) 3. Beach sprint: Rubi Hart (Waikanae) 1, Monique Bartlett (Omanu) 2, Chloe Kapene (Waikanae) 3. Beach flags: Ruby Williams (Waikanae) 1, Ruby Hart (Waikanae) 2, Chloe Kapene (Whakatane) 3. Board relay: Kapene/Hart/Williams (Waikanae)1, Bartlett/Greetham/Jones (Omanu) 2, Sykes/Burns/Preston (Mt Maunganui) 3. Beach relay: Hart/Kapene/Williams/Naske (Waikanae) 1, Lepper/Moore/Bronlund/Petro (Midway) 2, Pilbrow/Pearson/Davoren/Keer-keer (Papamoa) 3. Cameron relay: Hart/Williams/Kapene/Naske (Waikanae) 1, Davoren/Crouch/Kelly/Peina (Papamoa) 2, Bartlett/Cook/Greetham/Jones (Omanu) 3.
Run-wade-run: Vinnie Baggott (Papamoa) 1, Charlie Shivnan (Omanu) 2, Derek Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 3. Board race: Vinnie Baggott (Papamoa) 1, Derek Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 2, Hugo Emery (Wainui) 3. Diamond race: Vinnie Baggott (Papamoa) 1, Charlie Shivnan (Omanu) 2, Derek Esterhuizen (Whakatane) 3. Beach sprint: Vinnie Baggott (Papamoa) 1, Taj Potter (Wainui) 2, Jerome Tamatea (Waikanae) 3. Beach flags: Taj Potter (Wainui) 1, Jerome Tamatea (Waikanae) 2, Freddie Mitchell (Mt Maunganui) 3.
Run-wade-run: McKenzie Bryant (Omanu) 1, Zoe Davis Calvert (Mt Maunganui) 2, Chloe Moore (Midway) 3. Board race: McKenzie Bryant (Omanu) 1, Georgia Davoren (Papamoa) 2, Scarlett Munro (Mt Maunganui) 3. Diamond race: McKenzie Bryant (Omanu) 1, Zoe Davis-Calvert (Mt Maunganui) 2, Amelia Arthur (Wainui) 3. Beach sprint: Amelia Arthur (Wainui) 1, Zoe Davis-Calvert (Mt Maunganui) 2, McKenzie Bryant (Omanu) 3. Beach flags: Cahrlie Kepa (Wainui) 1, Hayley Fowler (Omanu) 2, Amelia Arthur (Wainui) 3.

Mixed 2km Beach Relay:
Irving, Tate, Willock, Allan (Waikanae) 1, Bartlett, Glover, Kirk, Friskney (Omanu) 2, Regan, Harray, Stewart, Nicholson (Waihi Beach) 3

Final points: Omanu 146, Waikanae 123, Papamoa 105, Mount Maunganui 103, Whakatane 49, Wainui 48, Midway 48, Whangamata 36, Westshore 35, Waihi Beach 28, Mairangi Bay 11, Orewa 4,  Hot Water Beach 2, Otaki 2, Ocean Beach Kiwi 1.

Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services info@dscribe.co.nz
Action from the Eastland Port Eastern Region junior championships at Midway Beach. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services info@dscribe.co.nz
Action from the Eastland Port Eastern Region junior championships at Midway Beach. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services info@dscribe.co.nz
Action from the Eastland Port Eastern Region junior championships at Midway Beach. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Gizzy appeal attracts big numbers

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Waikanae’s Clayden Hope competing at last year’s under-14 national surf lifesaving championships. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media

Gisborne has been given a firm tick of approval, as some of the best junior surf lifesavers in the country prepare to arrive in the city.

The 2016 Eastland Port Eastern Region junior championships at Midway Beach have attracted nearly 450 under-14 athletes from 15 clubs.

The championships are being rotated around the Eastern Region – shared between Waihi Beach, Whakatane and Midway – and Gisborne’s first hosting has surpassed all expectations from organisers.

“We feared there might be a drop-off in numbers because of the extra travel involved but clubs have obviously decided the quality of Midway’s beach and surf is too much to miss,” Eastern Region sport manager Mark Inglis said.  “It’s one of our most popular senior national championship venues and the next generation of surf lifesavers are pretty keen to test themselves at Midway as well.”

The Cory Hutchings-coached Waikanae club boasts the biggest contingent of entries, with 69 athletes, although Midway (45) and Wainui (43) are not far behind.

Traditional Bay of Plenty powerhouses Papamoa (63), Omanu (60) and Mount Maunganui (56) are also bringing large teams, while Waihi Beach, Whakatane, Whangamata and Westshore will also be competitive across all agegroups.

What’s impressed Inglis are the entries from Auckland, where Mairangi Bay and Orewa will both be represented, as well as a couple of athletes from Otaki and five from Hot Water Beach in the northern Coromandel.

“There are some impressive distances to be traveled to get here this weekend but the weather and swell forecasts both look particularly inviting.”

Having Eastland Port on board as a major sponsor was also hugely encouraging for the future of the event, he said.

Racing starts at 7.45am on Saturday and continues through until Sunday afternoon, with agegroups ranging from under-8 to under-14.

Stars align for Omanu carnival

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Devon Halligan competing in last year’s Omanu Day of Champions surf lifesaving carnival. Photo by Jamie Troughton Dscribe Media Services info@dscribe.co.nz

An all-star cast of surf lifesavers will line up this weekend for a crack at one of New Zealand’s most prestigious ironman races.
Sunday’s annual Omanu Day of Champions carnival, sponsored by Placemakers, features the Ian Porteous Memorial Ironman on its distinctive M-shaped course and has attracted reigning national champions Max Beattie and Devon Halligan.
Beattie will go head-to-head with his Omanu clubmate and defending Ian Porteous champion Ben Cochrane, who recently won the Mount Monster endurance race, while Halligan will also wear the red and white Omanu cap for the first time as she looks to defend the title she won last year.
That race involved a sprint finish with Mairangi Bay star Danielle McKenzie, who returns from an outstanding season so far on the professional circuit in Australia.  Other top females racing this week include Jess Miller (Mount Maunganui), while Hamish Miller, Daniel Barron, Kane Sefton and Isaac Marshall (all Mount Maunganui) and Papamoa’s Mason Bryant add starch to an impressive men’s lineup, with a solid pulse of swell expected to test the skills of all ages.
With more than $6000 in prizemoney, including $1000 each for the ironman and ironwoman winners, the Day of Champions provides the perfect lead-in into next week’s Eastern Region championships in Mount Maunganui and race director Chris Emmett is impressed with the field.
“I’ve had a lot to do with the Porteous family over the years and I’m delighted we can honour Ian’s memory with a field like this,” Emmett said.  “He was the ultimate clubman and each year, some of the best names in the sport are added to the trophy carrying his name.”
Porteous died, aged just 44, the day before the club’s annual long-distance ironman race 20 years ago. It prompted his good mate Denny Enright to establish a memorial race for the Mount College teacher, conservationist, family man and proud Omanu club member.
Previous winners of the men’s title include a cluster of the best ironmen New Zealand has produced, including Aaron Jarman, Cory Hutchings, Mark Muir, Matt Sutton, Cory Taylor and Beattie.
While Sutton won’t be racing this weekend, he’s bringing up a Midway team full of young talent, including 15-year-old star Olivia Corrin.
Corrin starred at the recent Gisborne championships, keeping pace with the top male board-paddlers in the country of her age, and is looking forward to having a serious crack at the likes of reigning national board champion McKenzie and Halligan.
“I’m really looking forward to testing myself against the top elite athletes who compete in Aussie,” Corrin said. “I like doing as many races as I can – the more I do, the better I seem to warm up.”
The Day of Champions, which is also sponsored by Dolphin Surf Craft and Mount Surf Shop, will get underway with heats at 10am, followed by a fast-paced series of finals from 1pm.



Drought broken as Waikanae reign

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Kim Thompson powers home to win the open women’s ski final. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

It’s taken 17 long years but a posse of paddlers and some fleet feet helped Waikanae back to the top of the Gisborne surf lifesaving ranks today.

The last time Waikanae lifted the Ralph Morse Memorial Shield – awarded to the top local club at the Gisborne Senior Championships – was in 1999, with Midway dominating every year since.

But after an intriguing day at Midway, with perfect building surf followed by an onshore change, the Cory Hutchings-coached Waikanae (322 points) held off their near-neighbours for a gripping eight-point win.

Midway started the day trailing by 48 points after Thursday’s double ski and canoe finals but came storming back in today’s 2km beach run, picking up four wins over the six divisions.

But Waikanae’s ski paddlers, led by siblings Kim and Quaid Thompson and Courtney and Alicia Hoskin, won every final contested. Quaid Thompson won both the under-19 and open divisions, with Cole Williams adding the under-16 title.

It was a similar story in the beach events, where Casie Fyall won both under-19 and open women’s flags and sprints and the club was only denied a clean sweep in the beach relays by Papamoa’s under-19 women’s win.

Facing a 46-point deficit heading into the final session, Midway’s heroics were led by 15-year-old Olivia Corrin – who was the best overall under-16 and open female – and Jessica Blakeman but they ultimately fell just short.

Although trailing in third, Wainui too had plenty to celebrate, with Jack Virtue dominating the open men’s division. He won the open surf race, run-swim-run and board race and was only beaten in the ironman by Papamoa’s Mason Bryant.

Papamoa had a team of 20 representing the Bay of Plenty club, with the Matt Cairns-coached squad enjoying a four-day training camp in Gisborne leading up to the championships.  Bryant, who recently finished second in the Mount Monster endurance race, picked up plenty of points for his club, along with under-16 stars Mitch Cowdrey and Aidan Smith.  Ariana Moffart also showed her ability, winning both the under-19 run-swim-rum and ironwoman finals.

The next event on the Eastern Region calendar is the Eastern Region championships on January 30-31.  The Mount Maunganui-based titles are traditionally the second-biggest carnival of the year, behind only the national championships.



Results from the Gisborne senior surf lifesaving championships from Midway Beach, Gisborne, today:



Open: 2km beach run: Mason Bryant (Papamoa) 1, Reefthan Brown (Midway) 2, Alex Bristow (Waikanae) 3. Ski race: Quaid Thompson (Waikanae) 1, Zach Ferkins (Waikanae) 2, Scott Cowdrey (Papamoa) 3. Surf race: Jack Virtue (Wainui) 1, Bertie Bassett-Foss (Waimarama) 2, Josiah Ney (Midway) 3. Surf teams: Midway 1, Papamoa 2, Waikanae 3. Board race: Jack Virtue (Wainui) 1, Scott Cowdrey (Papamoa) 2, Mason Bryant (Papamoa) 3. Beach flags: Connor O’Loughlin (Midway) 1, Josh Adams (Waikanae) 2, Aidan Smith (Papamoa) 3. Ski relay: Waikanae 1, Midway 2, Waikanae 3. Board relay: Papamoa 1, Wainui 2, Midway 3. Beach relay: Waikanae 1, Midway 2, Papamoa 3. Beach sprint: Connor O’Loughlin (Midway) 1, Aidan Smith (Papamoa) 2, Josh Adams (Waikanae) 3. Tube rescue: Papamoa 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3. Board rescue: Papamoa 1, Wainui 2, Midway 3. Run-swim-run: Jack Virtue (Wainui) 1, Reefthan Brown (Midway) 2, Jonty Low (Wainui) 3. Ironman: Mason Bryant (Papamoa) 1, Jack Virtue (Wainui) 2, Callum Torrie (Midway) 3. Taplin: Papamoa 1, Wainui 2, Waikanae 3.

Under-19: 2km beach run: Oliver Shivnan (Waikanae) 1, Callum Torrie (Midway) 2, Chris Niven (Midway) 3. Ski race: Quaid Thompson (Waikanae) 1, Mason Bryant (Papamoa) 2, Alex Bristow (Waikanae) 3. Surf race: Jack Virtue (Wainui) 1, Mason Bryant (Papamoa) 2, Jonty Low (Wainui) 3. Surf teams: Papamoa 1, Midway 2, Waikanae 3. Beach flags: Josh Adams (Waikanae) 1, Harry Dods (Waikanae) 2, Tom Dods (Waikanae) 3. Ski relay: Waikanae 1, Papamoa 2, Wainui 3. Board relay: Papamoa 1, Wainui 2, Waikanae 3. Beach relay: Papamoa 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3. Beach sprint: Josh Adams (Waikanae) 1, Harry Dods (Waikanae) 2, Alex Bristow (Waikanae) 3. Tube rescue: Papamoa 1, Midway 2, Waikanae 3. Board rescue: Papamoa 1, Wainui 2, Papamoa 3. Run-swim-run: Jack Virtue (Wainui) 1, Tom Dods (Waikanae) 2, Reefthan Brown (Midway) 3. Ironman: Jonty Low (Wainui) 1, Jack Virtue (Wainui) 2, Daniel Edwards (Papamoa) 3. Taplin: Midway 1, Papamoa 2, Wainui 3.

Under-16: 2km beach run: Josiah Ney (Midway) 1, Matthew Profitt (Waikanae) 2, Flynn Grey (Papamoa) 3. Ski race: Cole Williams (Waikanae) 1, Jordan McClarin (Karekare) 2, Jed Bullock (Papamoa) 3. Surf race: Mitch Cowdrey (Papamoa) 1, John Clarke (Papamoa) 2, George Mano (Papamoa) 3. Surf teams: Papamoa 1, Waikanae Midway 3. Beach flags: Aidan Smith (Papamoa) 1, Luke Russell (Waimarama) 2, Flynn Grey (Papamoa) 3. Board relay: Papamoa 1, Papamoa 2, Waikanae 3. Beach sprint: Aidan Smith (Papamoa) 1, Mitch Cowdrey (Papamoa) 2, Matt Naden (Waikanae) 3. Beach relay: Papamoa 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3. Tube rescue: Waikanae 1, Papamoa 2, Midway 3. Board rescue: Papamoa 1, Papamoa 2, Waikanae 3. Run-swim-run: Josiah Ney (Midway) 1, Leon Castle (Papamoa) 2, John Clarke (Papamoa) 3. Ironman: Mitch Cowdrey (Papamoa) 1, John Clarke (Papamoa) 2, Thomas Hart (Waikanae) 3. Taplin: Papamoa 1, Waikanae 2.


Open: 2km beach run: Michelle Rennie (Waikanae) 1, Sophie Van Wijk (Midway) 2, Sophie Rodgers (Midway) 3. Ski race: Kim Thompson (Waikanae) 1, Kirby Scammell (Midway) 2, Danielle Scott (Midway) 3. Surf race: Olivia Corrin (Midway) 1, Georgia Harris (Wainui) 2, Lauren Pickett (Waikanae) 3. Surf teams: Midway 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3. Board race: Olivia Corrin (Midway) 1, Lauren Pickett (Waikanae) 2, Bronagh Ryan (Titahi Bay) 3. Beach flags: Casie Fyall (Waikanae) 1, Tyler Burgess (Midway) 2, Sophie Twigley (Midway) 3. Ski relay: Midway 1, Waikanae Waikanae 3. Board relay: Midway 1, Wainui 2, Midway 3. Beach sprint: Casie Fyall (Waikanae) 1, Sophie Twigley (Midway) 2, Jamie Gedye (Waikanae) 3. Beach relay: Waikanae 1, Titahi Bay Midway 3. Tube rescue: Midway 1, Waikanae 2, Waikanae 3. Board rescue: Wainui 1, Midway 2, Waikanae 3. Run-swim-run: Jessica Blakman (Midway) 1, Olivia Corrin (Midway) 2, Lauren Pickett (Waikanae) 3. Ironwoman: Jessica Blakeman (Midway) 1, Ashleigh Hurring (Waikanae) 2, Danielle Scott (Midway) 3. Taplin: Waikanae 1, Midway 2, Titahi Bay 3.

Under-19: 2km beach run: Jessica Blakman (Midway) 1, Ariana Moffat (Papamoa) 2, Lucy Mossman (Waikanae) 3. Ski race: Courtney Hoskin (Waikanae) 1, Carla Reid (Whakatane) 2, Kirby Scammell (Midway) 3. Surf race: Jessica Blakeman (Midway) 1, Ariana Aupori-Kawai (Midway) 2, Danielle Scott (Midway) 3. Surf teams: Midway 1, Papamoa 2, Waikanae 3. Board race: Abby Logan (Wainui) 1, Anna Ellingham (Waikanae) 2, Ariana Moffatt (Papamoa) 3. Beach flags: Casie Fyall (Waikanae) 1, Jessie Egan (Waikanae) 2, Anna Ellingham (Waikanae) 3. Ski relay: Midway 1, Papamoa 2, Whakatane 3. Board relay: Wainui 1, Papamoa 2, Midway 3. Beach relay: Waikanae 1, Midway 2, Papamoa 3. Beach sprint: Casie Fyall (Waikanae) 1, Sophie Twigley (Midway) 2, Jamie Gedye (Waikanae) 3. Tube rescue: Papamoa 1, Midway 2, Titahi Bay 3. Board rescue: Papamoa 1, Midway 2, Waikanae 3. Run-swim-run: Ariana Moffatt (Papamoa) 1, Jessica Blakeman (Midway) 2, Kate Miller (Papamoa) 3. Ironwoman: Ariana Moffatt (Papamoa) 1, Jessica Blakeman (Midway) 2, Kirby Scammell (Midway) 3. Taplin: Papamoa 1, Midway A 2, Waikanae 3.

Under-16: 2km beach run: Tyler Burgess (Midway) 1, Shaya Fowell (Midway) 2, Caitlyn Candy (Midway) 3. Ski race: Alicia Hoskin (Waikanae) 1, Brooklyn Saunders (Titahi Bay) 2, Olivia Corrin (Midway) 3. Surf race: Olivia Corrin (Midway) 1, Lauren Pickett (Waikanae) 2, Kate Blakeman (Midway) 3. Surf teams: Midway 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3. Board race: Olivia Corrin (Midway) 1, Meg Grealish (Wainui) 2, Sophie Hayden (Papamoa) 3. Beach flags: Tyler Burgess (Midway) 1, Shaya Fowell (Midway) 2, Luisa Stillwell (Titahi Bay) 3. Board relay: Midway 1, Waikanae 2, Titahi Bay 3. Beach sprint: Tyler Burgess (Midway) 1, Caitlyn Candy (Midway) 2, Shaya Fowell (Midway) 3. Beach relay: Titahi Bay 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3. Tube rescue: Midway 1, Waikanae 2, Waikanae 3. Board rescue: Waikanae 1, Midway 2, Wainui 3. Run-swim-run: Olivia Corrin (Midway) 1, Lauren Pickett (Waikanae) 2, Kate Blakeman (Midway) 3. Diamond Olivia Corrin (Midway) 1, Lauren Pickett (Waikanae) 2, Sophie Hayden (Papamoa) 3. Taplin: Midway A 1, Waikanae 2, Midway 3.

 Story and images copyright Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services




Hard yards bring Monstrous glory


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Piha’s Kirsty Wannan leaps off the end of Moturiki Island, on her way to victory in the Mount Monster surf lifesaving endurance race in Mount Maunganui today. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services


They had to go through a whole world of hurt but Ben Cochrane and Kirsty Wannan were eventually crowned worthy winners after the grueling 25km Mount Monster surf lifesaving race today.

On another stunning Mount Maunganui day, Cochrane overcome hideous cramping, a gutsy rival and his own head before taking out the open men’s race at his first attempt.

Wannan, the 23-year-old Piha podiatrist, had to get through her own early woes but eventually eased home to defend the women’s title she first won last year.

Cochrane (Omanu) has spent the last 12 months training at the Northcliffe club in Queensland under the tutelage of world champion ironman Shannon Eckstein.  He’s spent a fair bit of that chasing his more illustrious training partners and found himself doing exactly the same during the Monster, with Papamoa’s Mason Bryant getting off to a flyer.

Bryant, also 19, led for large chunks of last year’s race before being hit with a time penalty and admitted he ‘raced angry’ today, using that memory as motivation.  He blitzed the first 5km run leg, holding Cochrane, Ben Gillies (Piha) and Hamish Miller (Mount Maunganui) at bay through the 1.5km swim and into the latter stages of the 12km ski leg.

“The boys ran out far faster than I wanted to run and I had to play catch-up,” Cochrane said.  “Mason was flying on the ski and he made me work the whole way – it was very disheartening to finally catch him and then let him go but I couldn’t feel my legs at all and they kept collapsing.”

Although they came into the final transition together, Cochrane’s leg woes appeared to have cost him a shot at the $2500 first prize, with Bryant spurred on.

“I ran that transition hard and heard over the speakers he’d got cramp and had fallen over, so I went for it,” Bryant said.  “I felt pretty good but he slowly caught me.”

Training with the likes of Eckstein has taught Cochrane the value of patience – he ground his way through the final 6km board leg in a stiff offshore chop and eventually passed Bryant within sight of the beach, crossing in 2hrs 20mins 14secs.  Bryant was just 13secs back, with Gillies (2:20.47) and 17-year-old Miller (2:20.49) chasing all the way to the finish.

Wannan, meanwhile, came back better prepared than last year, putting in more specific training and refining her race strategy.  All that went out the window, however, when some early hydration ventured back up on the initial run leg.

By the time she got to the iconic leap off Moturiki Island’s blowhole for the start of the swim leg, her young Piha clubmate Hannah Williams had caught her.

But a powerful swim leg and clinical ski and board efforts took her home in 2:33.20, with Williams second in 2:34.34 and Mount local Jess Miller third in 2:36.46.

“I didn’t know how to approach it last year, having not done it before, but with one under my belt, I just knew when and where to push a little more,” Wannan said. “I went out with my own race plan and was confident in the training that I’d done that it was enough to get me over the line.”

The run leg gave Williams a glimmer of hope but it was soon extinguished.
“She’s been killing it in training all season so I was kind of expecting her to take the win,” Williams said.  “I caught her at the beginning of the swim and jumped off the blowhole in front but then she absolutely boosted past me and that was it.  I’m pretty stoked for her.”

Midway trio Tayler Reid, Sam Newlands and Matt Scott took out the teams race in a sharp 2:18.14, just ahead of Piha duo Nick Berry and four-time Olympian Steve Ferguson, who crossed in 2:18.52.

Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services
Omanu’s Ben Cochrane. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

Provisional results:
Dexion open men: Ben Cochrane (Omanu) 2:20.14m 1, Mason Bryant (Papamoa) 2:20.37m 2, Ben Gillies (Piha) 2:20.47m 3, Hamish Miller (Mt Maunganui) 2:20.49m 4, Jake Allen (Muriwai) 2:23.39m 5, Sam Shergold (Mt Maunganui) 2:24.18m 6, Tyler Maxwell (Lyall Bay) 2:24.49m 7, Tainui Kaihau (Mt Maunganui) 2:25.12m 8, Andrew Selosse (Piha) 2:30.27m 9, Andy Holder (Lyall Bay) 2:37.35m 10.
Dexion open women: Kirsty Wannan (Piha) 2:33.20 1, Hannah Williams (Piha/Mangawhai Heads) 2:34.34 2, Jessica Miller (Mt Maunganui) 2:36.46 3, Grace Kaihau (Orewa) 2:39.56 4, Katie Wilson (Mt Maunganui) 2:40.37 5.
Eves Realty under-19 men: James Scott (Orewa) 2:22.06 1, Declan Dempster (Mt Maunganui) 2:24.44 2, Callum Torrie (Midway) 2:24.50m 3, Ben Manners (Lyall Bay) 2:27.30 4, Daniel Barron (Mt Maunganui) 2:27.51 5, Oscar Williams (Piha) 2:28.07 6, Daniel Edwards (Papamoa) 2:29.53 7, David Long (Lyall Bay) 2:30.41 8, Thomas Cole (Fitzroy) 2:30.53 9, Bertie Bassett-Foss (Waimarama) 2:31.16 10.
Bayleys Real Estate under-19 women: Hayley Cox (Lyall Bay) 2:41.42 1, Kayla McKenzie (Mairangi Bay) 2:44.17 2, Amy Barron (Mt Maunganui) 2:44.24 3, Libby Bradley (Mt Maunganui) 2:48.07 4, Jessie Moore (Lyall Bay) 2:49.59 5, Jenna Barrett (NPOB) 2:51.34 6, Kate Nota (Lyall Bay) 2:52.43 7, Lucy Makaea (Orewa) 2:55.54 8, Danielle Scott (Midway) 2:56.09 9, Stef Crncevic (Orewa) 2:56.35 10.
Classic Builders masters men (over 30): Julien Lalanne (Mt Maunganui) 2:28.48 1, Michael Bassett-Foss (Waimarama) 2:35.02 2, Adam Fraser (Fitzroy) 2:43.11 3, Damian Munro (Mt Maunganui) 2:45.35 4, Vinnie Manoit (Mt Maunganui) 2:47.34 5, Anthony Gadsbey (Omanu) 2:50.49 6, Rob Sheard (Omanu) 2:52.34 7, Deano Larsen (Fitzroy) 2:54.48 8, Stuart Sherman (Woolacombe) 3:00.40 10.
Masters women (over 30): Sandra Boubee (Papamoa) 3:00.16 1.
Rothbury open mens teams: Team Midway Mens (Midway) 2:18.14 1, Team Piha Puffer Fish 2:18.52 2, Team OBK (OBK) 2:21.30 3, Team Papamoa Old Dogs (Papamoa) 2:22.14 4, Team Aquaholics (Wainui) 2:24.37 5, Team Rewa Surf Mafia (Piha) 2:26.25 6, Team Miller Monsters (Mt Maunganui) 2:30.53 7, Team Bethells Burglars (Bethells Beach) 2:39.22 8, Team Dank Memes (Mairangi Bay) 2:45.03 9, Team Millennium Falcons (Papamoa) 2:45.44 10.
The Skin Centre open female teams: Team A (Omanu) 2:55.54 1, Team Fitzroy Femmes (Fitzroy) 2:57.21 2.
Bird Wines Masters (30+) male teams: Team Drink Bird Wines (Mt Maunganui) 2:37.32 1.
Bird Wines Masters (30+) mixed teams: Team Delta 6 (Mairangi Bay) 2:26.56 1, Team Papamoa GB3 (Papamoa) 2:54.30 2, Team Mount Minties (NPOB) 2:58.09 3.
Open mixed teams: Team Invitational 2:30.47 1, Team Cop & Doc (Mairangi Bay) 2:30.51 2, Team Goldilocks & The Three Bears (Omanu) 2:30.56 3, Team Rhyseale (Mt Maunganui) 2:31.33 4, Team Mt Maunganui 2:40.37 5, Team Waihi Open (Waihi) 2:45.39 6, Team BP (Mt Maunganui) 2:48.26 7, Team Reardons (Red Beach) 2:55.44 8

Young stars in record Monster field

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Mount Maunganui’s Jess Miller will return to home waters for the Mount Monster on Saturday. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

They may not have the tepid temperatures of the Gold Coast but home waters have never looked so good for Tauranga lifeguards Ben Cochrane and Jess Miller.

The pair are lining up in Saturday’s Mount Monster, sponsored by Dexion, joining nearly 300 other surf lifesavers chasing $9000 in prizemoney at the 25km, four-stage endurance race in Mount Maunganui.

It’s the richest surf sports event in New Zealand, although the chance of a big payday isn’t a motivating factor for Miller and Cochrane, who have spent the past 12 months training with the Northcliffe club in Queensland.

“There’s a lot of hype about the Mount Monster in Australia and a lot of people from the club know I’m coming over to do this,” Omanu’s Cochrane explained.  “It’s on my home beach and in my home water and I just want to do it.  If I come first or last, I’m going to have a smile on my face regardless.”

It’s unlikely he’ll come last, given that the 19-year-old’s training partners over the last year have included the likes of multiple world and Australian ironman champion Shannon Eckstein and New Zealand star Cory Taylor.  That’s lifted Cochrane’s game to another level, though he’ll have no idea what that level is until the end of Saturday’s race.

“I’ve definitely surprised myself how far I’ve come in the last year and I never thought I’d be in this position, training and keeping up with guys I’d previously only seen on television. I’ve never done the Mount Monster before and my focus this year is all on short-course ironman racing but I’ve watched the results over the last few years and I’m pretty excited to give it a crack.”

With previous winners Taylor and fellow Australian-based star Max Beattie competing in the third round of the Kellogg’s Ironman series in Australia this weekend, this year’s race is wide open and Cochrane is just one of a number of males who could take it out.

Likewise the women’s division – 2013 winner Danielle McKenzie is also in the Kellogg’s ranks, leaving defending champion Kirsty Wannan (Piha) as the only previous champion racing. She’ll have her work cut out to fend off the challenge of Piha clubmate and New Zealand under-19 ironwoman champion Hannah Williams, while Miller is also a vastly different athlete from the one who finished third in the inaugural race two years ago.

“Training with Northcliffe has played a huge part in my improvements as an ironwoman,” the 20-year-old said.  “I’ve gotten a lot stronger on my craft, especially the ski leg which I’ve really focused on and made a priority since moving to the Gold Coast. During my last Mount Monster, I felt like I was still a real beginner especially over a 12km distance so I am hoping this one will be a lot different.”

The Monster starts and finishes on Mount Maunganui’s Main Beach, with a 5km beach run, a spectacular swim leg which includes a jump off Moturiki Island’s blowhole, a 12km ski leg to Omanu and a 6km board paddle.

For Miller, it will be a much anticipated home-coming, as well as something of a family reunion.  Her brother Hamish, 17, has also entered the open division and is a phenomenal beach runner, while youngest brother Daniel and her father Doug will be competing in the teams division, with mum Jill on handling duties.

“Racing alongside both my brothers and Dad will be pretty special and there’s no other race where this would ever happen. The Mount is just a beautiful place to have a race like this and it’s awesome being able to come back to where I grew up and jump off the blowhole in an actual race and just come home and catch up with everyone.”

Miller has some decent recent form, having finished third in the 34km short-course Coolangatta Gold in October. Noosa Heads-based 17-year-old Tainui Kaihau – who won Coolangatta Gold bronze in the under-19 division – will be competing on Saturday, amid a men’s field that also includes Mason Bryant (Papamoa), Sam Shergold (Mount Maunganui) and Muriwai’s Jake Allan.

The team ranks feature at least four Olympians; kayakers Steve Ferguson and Teneale Hatton are both representing Piha teams, while whitewater star Mike Dawson is in an invitation team with 2008 Olympian and French butterfly swimmer Magali Rousseau and former New Zealand surfing champion Matt Hewitt.

The Monster  also features a unique prizemoney split, with $1000 going to the first open male and open female and a “Monster Pot” – awarded to first overall in the male, female and teams – based on the number of entries in each division.

Racing starts on Saturday at 10am.

Photo by Jamie TroughtonDscribe Media Services info@dscribe.co.nz
Omanu’s Ben Cochrane. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services