The Bay of Islands swimming club has made history, winning the Whangārei Swimming Club trophy relay at the spring carnival for the first time in the trophy's nine-year history.

The Whangārei Aquatic Centre hosted about 200 people for a day of swimming, which finished with the main event - an eight-member, 50m freestyle relay, an event no club outside of Whangārei had won before.

Each of the seven teams had to have at least three girls and three boys and contain less than 100 years between them. The Bay's Archie White (17), Kori Brown (15), Emilia Finer (14), Florence Venner (12), Ariella Ripohau (12), Mia Le Roux (11), Seth Venner (10) and Layla Bell (8) added up to 99 years.

After a slow start, the team managed to clinch the title in a time of 4.20.70 minutes with Whangārei C touching in second, 24 seconds later.


"I think every team was pretty excited before we started," Bay of Islands' sixth swimmer Emilia Finer said.

Even with the stakes high and the club's hopes resting on her shoulders, the 14-year-old said she wasn't nervous.

"I don't get nervous that much because I'm more excited to do it because I really like swimming and the relays are really fun with the team atmosphere."

Finer said swimming as part of a team made her go faster as opposed to swimming on her own because she wanted to do well for her team and beat the rival clubs

She was not worried when the team didn't start well because their strategy came through in the end.

"We were coming last at the beginning for a bit because we did our order a bit differently than some of the other clubs.

"They had some of their faster swimmers go first but then over the course of the relay we got further and further ahead and we won by quite a bit which is good."

Final swimmer and the team's oldest member Archie White said it was satisfying to come from behind and win.

"We talked before the swim and we organised our order correctly, that's why we were last at the start and first to finish."

White said the atmosphere in the centre spurred him and his team on to create history.

"It was pretty crazy, everyone yelling and it was pretty loud. It was a bit of pressure but it was okay. It was pretty cool that the younger swimmers get to experience in a win like that and make history for the club."