Waipū Youngsters Speeding Up
Three Waipū boys are taking on Northland at their favourite sport – motocross. The three 10-year-olds, Max Kelly, Riley Ward and Ben Wigram, have been riding together for the last year and regularly compete for the top three placings in their grade at club events. This summer they're entering the Penrite Northland Motocross champs for the first time. The four rounds of competition start on February 2 in Maungaturoto, followed by a second round in Whangārei, a third in Rodney, winding up with the final in Dargaville on March 15.
Kelly and Wigram have been riding since they were 4 years old, with Ward entering the sport three years ago. The boys have all come through Waipū Primary School together, and all compete at club level, Maungaturoto during the summer and at Ruakākā in winter.
"They battle each other," says Kelly's mother, Vicky-lee Kelly. "They are each other's best competition."
Kelly says her son Max is drawn to the sport for "the adrenalin, going fast and getting dirty".
She loves to watch him ride. "I have to look away sometimes, he goes so fast it's a little scary."
The boys all ride 65cc bikes, and Yamaha Whangarei have kindly sponsored a bike that they take turns using when their own bikes are sharing. Kelly says the trio are seeking sponsorship towards team shirts and travel to help them take on the competition.
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Beach Volleyballers Third in Nelson
Bream Bay's beach volleyballers placed third after battling high winds in tough games during the Nelson leg of the national beach volleyball circuit.
Sonia Tompkins and Kaylie Loewen joined forces this season to take on the country's best beach volleyball teams – along with teams from the US, Japan and Germany – on the competitive circuit this summer.
Tompkins runs One Tree Point-based gym BHP Functional Fitness with husband Dave Tompkins and Loewen, from Canada, also works there.
"It was great to show Kaylie another beautiful part of New Zealand in Nelson. Alas, we had very high winds all tournament which made it a lot more challenging," says Tompkins. "But we were happy to come back from a slow start and make the semifinals to ultimately finish third."
She says they are looking to break the third-place curse on their home turf (sand) at the Ruakākā leg of the competition at Anniversary Weekend.
"We're hoping for lots of local support and cheering."
Tompkins, 48, announced her retirement at the weekend, after 25 years of playing on the tour.
Life Savers Draw a Crowd
Ruakākā Beach was packed on Saturday with two Northern region surf life-saving events drawing a crowd of competitors and spectators.
Ruakākā Surf Life Saving Club's junior surf co-ordinator Connor Guest says a patrol headcount on the day estimated there were 1600 people on the beach and in the water for the inter-club IRB and junior surf competitions.
Guest had 15 juniors competing at the non-medal event, against more than 400 competitors from clubs around Northland and Auckland.
"They all had a really great day, and had a few really great results," he says.
Guest says their results were due to a team effort from parents, along with coaches Jason Toovey, Maaike McKernan and James Slaughter.
It was the first taste of competition for several of the young surf club members and he plans to take five to the next major competition, the northern region junior championships in Omaha on February 1 and 2.
Waipū Cove entered five teams in the IRB competition, with three competing for the first time – Yinyang (Quintin Brown and Jack Boakes with patient Toby Hudson), Ripslinger (Hayden Bartlett and Dominic Hayes with patient Sophia Baker) and the under-19 women's team of Alyssa Flanagan, Grace Kemp and patient Georgia McKay – with the women winning all their races. Waipū teams will take on the competition at Ruakākā again twice more this summer at the Northern Region IRB championships on March 21-22 and the national championships on April 4-5.
Bowlers Vie for Cup
Stunning summer weather brought the bowlers out in force last Sunday at Waipū Bowling Club for the mixed pairs handicap tournament, the Moje Cup, sponsored by Malcolm Norton of Ray White Bream Bay. The winners of the cup this year were Ross McLean and Annie Sargeant.
Weekend Arts Show at Marina
Check out a wide range of local art at the Anniversary weekend One Tree Point Combined Arts, Exhibition and Sales event. It's on January 25-26 from 10am to 4pm at the Marsden Cove Marina marquee. Gold coin entry, eftpos available. Outdoor sculptures, clay work, wood paintings, plus a vast and varied range of other works by dozens of artists. Last year more than 1600 people visited the show, which has gone from strength to strength since the original 2017 One Tree Point Art and Craft group's show.
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