Family bragging rights are up for grabs this weekend when the Raj sisters Tara and Sera go to war in the Wanganui Golf Club Championship women's final at Belmont today.
Seventeen-year-old Tara Raj is going for her sixth club title on end, while 13-year-old younger sibling Sera is teeing off in her first final at this level.
The 36-hole matchplay competition is sure to be closely followed by golf enthusiasts with young Sera shaping as a real threat to her more experienced and in-form sister who is fresh from finishing second in the New Zealand Women's Amateur Championships when going down 3/2 to Fiona Xu in Poverty Bay last weekend.
Tara Raj is also a five-time Wanganui Women's Open winner, although not in successive years. She has won the club championship, however, every season since first claiming it in 2015.
Sera has never beaten her older sister in head-to-head competition, but does have an ace up her sleeve – in fact, she has two.
Sera Raj has bagged two holes-in-one in recent times – one in Taupō and one here at their home course at Belmont, while Tara has yet to record her first.
"There is usually a bit of banter between us, but I've been away playing tournaments lately, so we haven't seen much of each other," Tara said.
"Sera has yet to beat me, but yes she does have two holes-in-one which I don't. I've been resting up since arriving home from my last tournament and Sera has been busy practising. I'm sure there will be a bit of banter between us during the final, but generally we're pretty supportive of each other," Raj said.
Rick Harding and Riki Kauika face off in the men's club final.
Meanwhile, Whanganui teams are moving on up with wins in round two of the 2020/2021 Coastal Challenge cricket competition.
Whanganui Collegiate School's 1st X1 backed its draw with Weraroa in round one with a 104-run victory over Kapiti Old Boys last weekend, while Wanganui Vet Services Marist reversed its round one form to beat Weraroa by 39 runs in round two. Property Brokers Wanganui United had the bye last week.
Last weekend WCS batted first scoring 235/4 in their 50 overs with CL Hobbs top scoring with 68 not out, while Matthew Hocquard nailed his first half-century of the competition. He was also not out.
Marist also batted first setting Weraroa a target of 254/8 and hanging on to win by 39 runs. Marist batsman Mark Fraser leads the competition batting statistics with his fine knock of 112. Ross Kinnerley played his part in victory with an excellent 54.
Shaun O'Leary (WCS) narrowly leads the fielding statistics with four catches and one unassisted run out to his credit.
Four Marist bowlers had two wicket hauls – Kinnerley 2/25, TR Redpath 2/27, Zac O'Keefe 2/52 and Sahib Juneja 2/35.
Medical Centre Paraparaumu share the competition lead after beating Levin United by three wickets with Burger King Red Star after it beat Levin Old Boys also by three wickets. Paraparaumu, however, have the edge over Red Star on run rate. WCS is third, but poised to pounce on the leaders.
Today Marist play WCS in a local derby at Springvale Park starting at 11am, while Wanganui United take on Red Star at Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton, Kapiti Old Boys play Levin United at Paraparaumu Domain, while Paraparaumu take on Levin Old Boys on Kena Kena Park in Paraparaumu. Weraroa has the bye.
And Whanganui motorcycle racers appear to be shaping up well for upcoming assignments after podium finishes in the relatively low key CCMR Endurance event for Formula 1 and F2 machines in Taupō last weekend.
The three-hour event was partly a fundraiser for Kiwi superbike rider Damon Rees' British campaign and won by his father Tony and brother Mitch, both riding Honda 1000cc superbikes.
Second was the Barracks Sports Bar Racing Team Richie Dibben (Suzuki 1000cc) and teenager Luca Durning (Suzuki 600cc) with Whanganui's Tarbon Walker (Kawasaki 600cc) and Aucklander David Sharp (Kawasaki 1000cc) in third.
"It was a pretty good effort for us to finish second when we were on F1 and F2 machines while the winners were both on superbikes (1000cc)," Dibben said.
"It was a gutsy effort, The event is a three hour endurance test where we have turns in half hour stints.
"Luca is still young and coming along nicely on my old 600cc that he will be riding in the F2 Supersport class in the Suzuki Series. I'm happy with the way my superbike is going and I was pretty much matching the lap times Mitch Rees was doing and he's among the top two or three in that class."
Dibben won last season's New Zealand Supersport 600c title in his debut season cut short by Covid-19 and steps up to F1 this year, while Durning will contest the 600cc F2 class in the upcoming Suzuki Series.
Tarbon Walker was also using the event was a warm-up to the Suzuki Series followed by the nationals in the New Year where he will be competing on his Kawasaki 600cc.