Perfect weather for water race

Near-perfect conditions greeted competitors at the Marsden Yacht and Boating Club Westmoreland Homes Snake Bank Regatta last Saturday.

Nearly 90 competitors raced around Snake Bank in Whangārei Harbour on a range of craft, including stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, small yachts to 40-foot keelers and even a foiling kitesurfer.

Yachts round a marker buoy during the 2019 Snake Bank Regatta.
Yachts round a marker buoy during the 2019 Snake Bank Regatta.

Prizes were awarded to the participant with a finishing time closest to a pre-nominated time, so every sized craft had an equal chance of winning the major trophy.


Competitors also had a chance at winning a large range of spot prizes with juniors Quinn McClelland and Cooper Jones each taking home an Apple watch.

The Yacht Club's Phil Scott says the event was able to happen thanks to plenty of sponsors. All entry proceeds go to local charities including St Johns, Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving, Northland Charitable Sailing Trust, Marsden Coastguard and MYBC youth sailing training.

The overall prize went to Paul Jeeves from Marsden Ray White Realty on his paddleboard.

Bream Bay Sports Awards
Tickets are now on sale for Bream Bay's Sports Awards evening, which is just around the corner on March 1.

All nominations are in, and the categories of junior sportsperson, junior team and coach of the year are particularly strongly contested with several high-achieving nominees. The People's Choice award is receiving much interest – visit the website and vote for your favourite to win.

Nominations are:
Takahiwai Under 11s rugby league team, Bream Bay Blues cricket team, Bream Bay College rugby league team, Bream Bay Trist hockey team (junior team), Tania Ahrens, Warren Bunn (referee), Ely Backhouse, Jacob Buckle, Maddy Greatorex, Teneille Hiki, Klies Kaiarake, Paul Linton, Tom Norton, Rebecca Reade, Terry Jack Smart, Abby Wright (junior sportsperson), Neil Boniface, Wayne Wrack (masters), Sharon Carroll, Mike Davies, Truman McCarthy (leadership), Stephen Cunis, Graeme Dewes,Richard Dunkerton, Ed Wilson (coach), Kylie Jacoby, Fiona Southorn (sportswoman), Gordon Walker and Lyn White croquet team, Northpine Waipu Premier rugby team (senior team), Ross McFarlane, Sam McNamara (sportsman), Junie Shelford (community impact), Terry Smart, Jim Ulrich, Kevin Walker, Louise Wickham (service). Order your tickets from the sports awards website, and contact Michelle Halloran at if you have any issues. There are no door sales.

Ruakākā gala day
Ruakākā School is gearing up for its Fall Harvest Festival on March 23. The school normally holds a spring gala once every two years but wanted to wait until the new utility block was finished this time, so switched to an autumn fundraiser.

Plan to head along for a fun family day out between 10am and 2pm for rides, activities, competitions, second-hand goods, a bake-off, raffles and the big auction.

Proceeds from the day will go towards new playground equipment and robotics.

The school is looking for sponsorship and helpers on the day, particularly people experienced with using a wood-fired pizza oven and they are also looking for a spit to cook lamb – if you can help, phone the school on 432 7503 or email organiser Wendy Rowsell at

Calling senior hockey players
Bream Bay Hockey Club's senior rally day and trials are on this Sunday, from 11am at the Whangārei Hockey Centre in Kensington.

Men are on the Currie Electrical turf, women on the Real Deal Tyres. The rally day is open to all players from school year 9 to age 99, with teams available in men's Premier, Reserve and Division 1 grades; and women's Reserve B and Division 2.

So whether you're a social player wanting to meet people and improve your fitness, or looking for a more challenging level, there is something for all. There will be a barbecue and catch-up after the on-field session.

Message the Bream Bay Hockey Club facebook page if you are unable to get to the rally day, or call Bruce Paton 027 601 7525, Russell Plank 021 752 653, Emma Cross 027 6760 006 or Kathy McCully 021 046 4096.

Calling junior hockey players
Bream Bay Hockey Club's junior rally day for players in year 1-8 is on March 3 at the Bream Bay College hockey turf. You can register your children for the season, eftpos will be available to pay subs. A sausage sizzle will follow games on the turf. The day is for new and returning players, or if you are just interested in finding out more. If you can't make the day, please email the club's junior co-ordinator Lucy Trist at

Ruakākā Youth Day
The Regent Training Centre is holding a Ruakākā Youth Day tomorrow on the field behind the Bream Bay Trust Centre on Peter Snell Rd (opposite Bream Bay College).

The day runs from 10am to 2pm and is open to all youngsters aged 16-plus, with a free barbecue, technology challenge, tug of war, touch football, dodge ball, games, giveaways, free drinks and spot prizes – plus promoting courses offered by the training centre.

Ruakākā Beach clean up
This Saturday, Telfer Young Northland plan a Sustainable Coastlines clean-up day at Ruakākā Beach from 10am to 12pm.

With rain and wind forecast, organisers will decide tonight or tomorrow morning on whether to postpone the clean-up until March 9. The clean-up was prompted by stories of surf life savers picking up rubbish on the beach left behind by visitors.

Helpers will assemble at Ruakākā Beach by the surf club and aim to have several groups covering different locations in Bream Bay, such as Mair Rd, Marsden Bay, One Tree Point and Uretiti Beach.

If you're keen to help, message the Ruakākā Beach Clean Up event Facebook page so they provide enough gloves and bags for everyone, or call 468 9599.

Sunscreen, light refreshments and a sausage sizzle will be provided, and participants need to bring a filled water bottle, sturdy shoes, sunhat and sunscreen and snacks to keep them going while they help keep our local beach a beautiful place that everyone can enjoy.

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