Bream Bay Keeps swimming relay title
Bream Bay Swimming Club kept a firm grip on the Crawford-Woodman relay shield at last weekend's Northland Age Group Championships. The shield is awarded to the winning team in an eight-member relay which includes one male and one female from each of four age groups. This is the eighth time Bream Bay has held the shield and this year they were the only Northland Club able to field a relay team for the event.
Coach Richard Dunkerton says if it weren't for young swimmer Stevie-Raye Rawaho-Ball, 11, the club wouldn't have been able to pull a team together. "When she swam her individual 50m freestyle race, she didn't do a personal best," he says. "But when I timed her in her leg of the relay, she did a 4 second pb – she gave it everything." Just over 150 swimmers from clubs around Northland competed at the championships at the Kauri Coast Swimming Pool in Dargaville from 17-19 January, along with visitors from Auckland, Samoa and Australia.
Dunkerton says overall he was pretty happy with the achievements of his 32 swimmers at the championships, despite a poor build-up. Preparation included a week-long camp ahead of the championships based at the Dargaville pool which he says was marred by the pool's cool temperature. "Our build-up was shocking, the pool was down to 21 degrees one day," he says.
"We would not have used the pool for two-thirds of the time we had it booked." The cold affected the effort some of his swimmers put in during the camp, he says. Dunkerton was impressed with some of his swimmers' results at Age Groups, including Luca Matenga, 16, who swam seven personal best times, winning seven individual gold medals, four silvers and a bronze. Samantha Dutton, 16, also featured prominently, with six personal best times and four gold medals, two silver and two bronze. "Lawrence (Reade) and Fidel (Poulson) were great too," Dunkerton says.
"They were very competitive in their 14-year age group and swam nine pbs each and four gold medals between them." He said Timba Linton, 9, did well competing at his first Northland championships, swimming three personal best times in his three events and winning a bronze medal plus two other placings.
Other swimmers who deserved a mention for their efforts were Ryan Andrews, 15, Lily Matenga, 14, Emma Dutton, 16, Charlotte Dutton, 1, Alanna Brown, 12, Mahko Linton, 11. With Northland Age Groups behind them, Dunkerton intends to concentrate on preparing his swimmers to achieve good results the Auckland Age Group Championships in March.
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Beach safety tour success
Waipū Cove Surf Life Saving Club is on a mission to help prevent drowning in Northland. Club captain says the club ran a beach safety education session at nearby Langs Beach, then took 15 members including junior and senior lifeguards, one rookie lifeguard, and two junior surf members on a three-day tour of unpatrolled popular beaches in the far north: Cable Bay, Matai Bay and Tauranga Bay.
"We worked with locals from these communities to help spread the word and get as many people there as possible," says Manning. "These beaches have all had Operation Flotation devices installed – so we helped to educate the community on how these could be used." The devices are designed to keep people afloat until help arrives.
"If you see someone in trouble in the water – call 111," Manning says. The community raised funds to have these installed at these isolated beaches, so that if someone is in trouble in the water, after calling 111, competent swimmers could use them to keep someone afloat. Bystanders who enter the water to help someone else often get into trouble themselves, says Manning, so Operation Flotation organisers hope this will help prevent further drowning.
The beach safety programme went well. "We ran games for the kids, educated about how to spot a rip, and what to do if you get into trouble, to remember the 3 Rs: relax and float, raise your hand, ride the rip."
The club also set up a first aid station with mannequins for people to have a go at CPR and showed how to put people in the recovery position. "We ran rescue demonstrations with the IRB, rescue board and rescue tube, along with demonstrations on how to float with the Operation Flotation tubes," says Manning.
"We had local NRC councillors, police, St Johns, Kaitiaki Rangers, DoC rangers, Sport Northland and Operation Flotation all show up and join in along with holiday makers, campers and locals."
Next, the club hopes to show other Surf Life Saving Clubs how to replicate the tour in other areas where there are no red and yellow flags.
Volleyball, Art and Street Market
This weekend is a busy one in Bream Bay. Head to Ruakākā Beach in front of the surf club for three days of beach volleyball action as the New Zealand Beach Tour hits town.
Cheer on local duo, veteran Sonia Tompkins and newcomer Kaylie Loewen. They have given the top teams a run for their money at the previous three stops on the beach tour and have their sights set on getting past the semi-finals. With some good local support they might just do it. Their competition kicks off Saturday morning at 9am, with semi-finals from 10am-12pm Sunday and finals at 2pm and 3pm.
You can find full competition details and team entries at www.volleyballnz.org.nz/beach-volleyball.
Also on Saturday (and Sunday) is the One Tree Point Combined Arts, Exhibition and Sales event. It runs from 10am to 4pm at the Marsden Cove Marina marquee with a huge range of art works to look at and/or buy. Gold coin entry, eftpos available. On Sunday it is the Anniversary Weekend Waipū Street Market, with more than 140 stalls running the length of Waipu's main street and into Caledonian Park from 9am to 2pm. Something for everyone – food, crafts, gifts, carving, jewellery, live music and entertainment for the kids.
Email Julie Paton at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got Bream Bay news to share with Advocate readers.