The Grom Challenge, held at Mount Maunganui Beach, is a surf lifesaving competition which attracts athletes from all over New Zealand. For one local pair it was a case of mate against mate for bragging rights.
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Mount Maunganui's Caleb Cobb and Jayden Murphy have been surf lifesaving and training together for the last six years but on Friday and Saturday battle lines were drawn.
The up-and-coming pair lit up the third annual Grom Challenge as they produced an epic battle for the overall under-16 boys' title.
In the end, it was Caleb who took the win by a solitary point.
Jayden said he and Caleb were fiercely competitive with each other but remained good mates regardless of the outcome.
"We're always happy for each other when the other wins. He was a bit faster than me on the sand, we always talk about it all, make game plans together and joke around but stuff that's happened in the past - it's always good fun.
"It is definitely quite competitive, I have expectations on me, he has expectations on him. We're both really racing each other all the time and in training so I knew he'd be right there, giving it a good nudge.
"It was really fun, it's such a cool event. It's just different to what we're used to which keeps everything fun and gets everyone's confidence up in terms of racing," he said.
The event showcased top surf lifesaving talent from clubs around the country
with 142 athletes taking part, some from as far away as Dunedin, in under-12, under-14 and under-16 categories.
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Event owner Andrew Newton said he created the event to provide an opportunity for the up and coming athletes to have "loads of fun with the sport" which was traditionally highly competitive. There is a further break from tradition with fun additions to the races such as hot spots (a race within a race), Le mans starts and choices of buoys to round which adds an element of reading the surf conditions.
"It was wicked, it was awesome. The feedback from the competitors and the parents was pretty overwhelming. I think they were just really stoked on the professionalism, how smooth everything ran and the relaxed atmosphere.
"The kids get a whole myriad of things out of competing and hopefully one of those is new friendships. They're not bound by racing for their club, they don't have to wear their club colours, so I hope that sort of breaks a few barriers.
"I put tents up and they're forced to mix and mingle. They get to do all the surf lifesaving events that they know but they all have a point of difference. There's a level of excitement because it's all fresh and new."
He said Jayden and Caleb had trained together since he had them in a holiday programme as 7-year-old children and he was proud to see what great young athletes they had become.
"It was really cool to see how far they've come and see them battling it out all weekend. They were jostling for first and second pretty much the whole way. I'm really proud as a coach to see how they've developed as kids and now into men. They put on some thrilling racing for us.
"In all those age groups there's a national championships so we had the top three boys and girls from that scattered across all age categories. It was highly competitive."
Grom Challenge - Overall Results
Under-12 Boys (five events):
1st Vinnie Baggott (Mount Maunganui)
2nd Finn Fremantle (Omanu Beach)
3rd Nick Reeder (Mount Maunganui)
Under-12 Girls (five events):
1st Hayley Fowler (Mount Maunganui)
2nd Grace Florence Rickit (Mount Maunganui)
3rd Mackenzie Bryant (Omanu Beach)
Under-14 Boys (five events):
1st Jacob Reeder (Mount Maunganui)
2nd Thomas Richardson (Mount Maunganui)
3rd Gene Baggott (Mount Maunganui)
Under-14 Girls (five events):
1st Lulu Johnson (Mount Maunganui)
2nd Talitha McEwan (Mount Maunganui)
3rd Milana Tapper (Whangamata)
Under-16 Boys (six events):
1st Caleb Cobb (Mount Maunganui)
2nd Jayden Murphy (Mount Maunganui)
3rd Zack Reeder (Mount Maunganui)
Under-16 Girls (six events):
1st Lily Pearce (Mount Maunganui)
2nd Caitlin Pringle (Mount Maunganui)
3rd Kyra Addison (Mount Maunganui)