Bream Bay swimmers shine

Almost 30 Bream Bay swimmers headed to Dargaville last Friday for the three-day Northland Age Group Swimming Championships.

The team trained hard in the competition lead-up, spending a week at a swim camp on the Kauri Coast training at the 50m Dargaville pool and Kai Iwi Lakes to be in peak condition for Northland's premier swimming event.

Bream Bay's Paul Linton, 18, shone at what may be his last inter-club swimming competition, bringing his Northland records tally to more than 20, several of which are open records.

Samantha Dutton swimming breaststroke at Northland Age Group Championships last weekend. Photo/Mike Swords
Samantha Dutton swimming breaststroke at Northland Age Group Championships last weekend. Photo/Mike Swords

He collected nine golds from his nine events at the weekend, setting three Northland age group and two open records.

During his seven-year swimming career, he has made more than 20 national finals and collected several medals. Paul is the only male nominated as 2019 Conbrio Northland Sports Awards finalist for the code of swimming – he won the title last year.

He was the ASB Secondary Schools Sports Award male winner for the code of swimming in 2017 and 2018 and was Dux Ludorum (the award given for sporting achievement at the highest level) of Bream Bay College for two years running.

Last weekend Paul anchored his club's Crawford-Woodman trophy relay team at the Northland Age Groups.

Coach Richard Dunkerton says he will be sorry to see Paul leave the club but looks forward to hearing about his future achievements.

"We wish him well in his career with the New Zealand Navy."

Another Bream Bay swimmer to shine at last weekend's competition was Hunter Dobson, 13, with 11 gold medals. Dobson leaves Bream Bay next week for schooling in Auckland.

"We will miss his quirky nature and great smile," said Dunkerton.


Luca Matenga, 15, also had a great meet with seven gold, a silver and three bronze medals along with 10 personal best times from 14 swims.

Rebecca Reade, 16, Amy Swanson, 13, Samantha Dutton, 15, Lily Matenga, 13, Jack Paton, 16, and Fidel Poulson, 13, all had top meets.

Fidel with 11 personal best times from 11 swims excelled. New swimmer Ryan Andrews, 14, picked up seven medals.

Young swimmers also stood out - Alanna Brown and Chelsea Rickey, both 11, picked up medals with good levels of personal best times. Thomas Guy, 11, Charlotte Dutton, 12, and Izaiahs Linton, 12, also medalled well and made several personal best times.

Mahko Linton, 10, and Izaiahs Linton, Charlotte Dutton and Thomas Guy have all qualified for the NZ Junior Festival competition in Auckland next month. Lily Matenga, Fidel Poulson, Amy Swanson, Samantha Dutton, Luca Matenga, Grace Kemp, 15, and Nina Matenga, 17, have all qualified for the NZ Division II Age Group championships in Dunedin in March.

Dunkerton expects Samantha Dutton and Luca Matenga to perform especially well at Div II and possibly swim times that will qualify them for the major National Age Group Championships in Wellington in April.

Other Bream Bay swimmers who have already made National Age Group Champs qualifying times are: Paul Linton, Rebecca Reade, 16, Abby Wright, 15, Kiera Carroll, 14, and Hunter Dobson.

Storytime for children
There are still two holiday story reading sessions for children under eight years at Ruakākā Library. Sessions are tomorrow and February 1 from 10.30am.

Car and bike show
Keep February 10 free – it's the always popular Waipū Car and Bike Show at Waipū's Caledonian Park, from 10am to 2pm. This Waipū Lions fundraiser for St John Ambulance is a family event – no alcohol or gang patches permitted. No exhibitor pre-registration necessary, exhibitor entry is from 7.30am. All cars and bikes, utes and commercial vehicles of interest are welcome, and clubs are also welcome. Contact Ron for more information on 021 992 445. There are 15 prize categories with a trophy and prize for each winner, plus a People's Choice award.

Art on show
Pick up some art or check out the artistic talent of Bream Bay at the One Tree Point Combined Arts Exhibition and Sales event at Marsden Point Marina this weekend. Doors open 10am both Saturday and Sunday until 4pm, gold coin entry. Up to 40 artists will be exhibiting.

Waipū street market
Waipū's long weekend street market this Sunday from 9am promises to be the biggest and best yet with 100-plus stalls offering something for everyone - a wide range of goods from fresh produce to crafts and entertainment. Stalls will run down the main street, into Caledonian Park and the Celtic Barn. Get in early so you don't miss out.

■ Email Julie Paton at if you've got Bream Bay news to share with Northern Advocate readers.