Watersport: Tamatea girls rule the roost

By Andre Zwan

The Marine Trades Challenge 2013 at the Ponsonby club in Auckland was an all-Tamatea High School affair as their two all-girl teams claimed first and second spots.

Representing Hawke's Bay in the secondary schools' category of this ITO/NZ Marine-organised event, Tamatea pupils had to build a boat within two hours and then race it powered in turn by wind, motor and muscle around a course.

Tamatea High, in claiming first and second, beat much fancied Auckland Grammar and current title holder Mercury Bay Area School, from Whitianga.

The competition, which males predominantly dominate, consists of five sections.

Dave Thompson, head of technology at Tamatea High, said: "The girls worked extremely hard at developing their skills in the workshop and on the water. They thoroughly deserved their victory."

Sports teacher Dana Berquist said: "It was a fantastic experience for the girls. Not only did they compete, but also paid visits to marine industry facilities, like Southern Spas, who made the masts for the America's Cup yachts and Alloy Yachts who are currently building a $50m yacht."

Tamatea have now competed in four marine trades events.

Winning this year was special for Leilani Malaitai who emulated her brother who was part of the winning team three years ago.

According to Thompson, they were invited when the Marine ITO saw the school's waka-building programme.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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