Moving the Great Waipū Milk Off to Waipū's Coronation Hall this year proved an inspired idea, as this year's crowd would have struggled to fit into the Yourvet clinic, where it was held in previous years.
The contest is now in its fifth year and around 140 people came along to watch the fun and test their skill on a mechanical bull.
The bull proved a hit with young and old, with very few managing to stay aboard for longer than a few seconds.
Roars from the enthusiastic bull-riding watchers drowned out the Scottish themed quiz run by MC Jenny Carr, so the bull had to be switched off while the quiz was on.
Sixteen hopefuls signed up to milk their way to glory and a prize package of just under $1000 worth of animal health products.
The competition runs as a series of heats, using wooden cows Morag and Agnes, which are equipped with artificial udders. Once the milker has filled his or her glass by hand milking the cow (with or without the helpful addition of a shot of whisky) they must drink the glass' contents. The first to finish proceeds to the next heat.
Last year's top female milker, Kelly Sandford, started in style by first beating husband Wayne at the milking game. She disposed of two more male competitors to make her way to the final but felt slightly disadvantaged.
"I haven't had a drink for months, so that first shot of whisky really affected me," she said.
Also in the final was Bruce Paton, who came up against last year's champion Doug Gibson in the semifinals, winning a very tight race.
For the final, winners spun a wheel to determine which milking handicap they must contend with – Sandford drew colostrum (condensed milk) which made the going tough while Paton found his obstacle of a teat pea (marble) easier to work around, filling his glass easily ahead of Sandford to claim the title of "Fastest Milker in the Shire".
Sandford won a generous second prize of animal health products, plus another prize for being the top female milker.
Swimmers' win big
Several Bream Bay swimmers needed boxes to cart away their trophies from last weekend's Northland Swimming awards presentations at the Whangārei Aquatic Centre.
Awards were based on results in the pool from the 2018-2019 season, and one of Northland's top performers was Bream Bay's Paul Linton, 18, who has since retired from swimming and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Linton won Northland's Martin Wilson Trophy for the swimmer who breaks a race record by the greatest percentage margin at the Northland Age Group Championships. He also picked up stroke trophies for being the fastest male in Northland in 50m and 100m freestyle, 50m and 100m backstroke, 100m and 200m individual medley.
Also taking home a large number of awards was Rebecca Reade, 16. She was awarded the Mick Parr Memorial Trophy for swimmer service to sport, plus stroke awards for being the fastest female in Northland in 50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle, and 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.
Bream Bay's parent volunteers weren't overlooked – Dawn Dutton won the Northland Technical Trophy for Emerging Official of the Year thanks to her willingness to acquire new qualifications and her work at both regional and national meets, while Sharon Carroll won the Community Trust Foundation Shield for Administrator of the Year.
Bream Bay Swimming Club won the Crawford/Woodman Cup for the eight-swimmer relay, an event raced at Northland Age Group Championships. The awards ceremony was followed by the first swimming carnival of the season.
Waipū Cove wins regional awards
Waipū Cove Surf Life Saving Club won three awards at the Northern Region Surf Life Saving Awards of Excellence at the Cordis Hotel in Auckland last Saturday.
The awards recognised outstanding work from 17 clubs in the region. Zac Browne-Hale won the Rookie of the Year - the third consecutive year Waipu Cove has won this prestigious award - Josh Baker in 2017, Emily Stolwerk in 2018.
Club captain Kath Manning says the club is proud of its rookie programme and the way they integrate rookies into the patrol roster. They also coach younger junior surf members, encourage them to compete in surf sport and learn about the beach environment so when they hit 14 they are ready to become well-rounded exceptional lifeguards.
Manning won Administrator of the Year and the club won Innovation of the Year for its Beach Safety Education Tour of Northland's unpatrolled beaches which saw 11 lifeguards and four junior surf members travelling to five beaches in the North where there had previously been drownings (Kai Iwi Lakes, Matai Bay, Taupo Bay, Cable Bay and Matapouri).
Croquet club Ceilidh
A reminder that this Saturday is the Winter Ceilidh fundraiser for new clubrooms for the Waipū Croquet Club. Come along and dance the night away to the Celtic sounds of Twisty Willow – their calling makes it easy for the most inexperienced dancer. Tickets $15 at the door or from Waipū Lotto Shop, 7.30pm Waipū Coronation Hall.
Otamatea Theatre news
Also on this Saturday is the "Winter Razzle Dazzle", an afternoon of fantasy fashion and entertainment at the Otamatea Repertory Theatre. Door sales only, eftpos available, adults $10, students $2. Starts 2.30pm. And auditions for the theatre's next show are on August 7 from 7pm to 9pm at the theatre. It's a dinner theatre comedy: This is Your Captain Speaking, directed by Peter Matheson. Adults and teenagers only, not suitable for children. See the theatre website for more details.
Quiz night for AIMs teams
The next Waipū Razza charity quiz night is a fundraiser for the Bream Bay College Year 7 and 8 hockey teams heading to the AIMs Games in Tauranga in September. Teams of six at $10 per person will compete in the quiz night and also for one of three prizes for best-dressed (sports theme).
All welcome, come along on August 14 from 6pm for a night of fun, food, drinks and raffles while supporting young local hockey players. To book a spot or offer sponsorship, phone 432 0028 or email email@example.com or visit the Razza Kitchen facebook page.
• Email Julie Paton at firstname.lastname@example.org if you've got Bream Bay news to share with Northern Advocate readers.