Competition Reports

Tri Nations NZ v South Africa & Australia 14th to 18th Feb 2003
We didn’t get to the Mount till the Sunday so missed the Saturday action in 3m surf which  we believe was awesome.  The other disappointment was that the  Aussies were not going to compete in the IRB events. Something to do with their insurers not covering them if they raced the IRBs.& if they had to race IRBs then they wouldn’t even come. Nobody informed them of our ACC cover, which seems to cover every other type of accident, even injuries received committing criminal acts.  Perhaps it had something to do with their top crew being soundly beaten while competing last year in our BP IRB National Championships at Whangamata.
So it was left to the 2 NZ teams (National,  Chris Scott/Jaron Mumby & Development, Danny Morrison/Jason Pocock  ) v the  South African Team. who had no fears in competing even though it was  the first Arancias they been in.  Met the whole S.A team on the Monday & they seemed to be enjoying the racing, only complaint was a lack of  practice in the Arancias. How we had tried to have the Arancias  released in South Africa in 2001 when the Tri Series was  held there. A bond had to be paid in the end for the release of the craft so that they could at least be used for the last events held in Durban.
One of the S.A team commented that this was strange as rescue equipment are exempt from duties, so what was the bond for?  (to prevent the craft being resold?) Woops, sorry that might be construed as politics.Well, the weather was fabulous, the surf still had a mean shore break the organisation was superb the catering really mouth watering & the events, close & exciting.  Have a look at the few digital picks we managed to take.
Results can be viewed on  www.slsnz.org.nz
Papamoa Classic  22nd Feb 2003
Smaller event than usual this year, 18 teams compared with 43 last year, but lots of enthusiasm,  new crews & the return of some teams we haven’t seen in years.  And what an impressive support  team it was. TEAM ORIX  from Waipu Cove, with the ex champion Hayden Campbell as manager. See group photo. Just have to polish  the crews up a bit (like a little training) and we might see them up there with Paekakariki & United. These 2 teams fought every race  right up to the last race before the top overall points score gave Paekakariki the title by 1 point.  Great racing. perhaps United may have been distracted by the film crew that was filming Jason’s team for a TVNZ documentary on Piha to be shown latter this year.
Chris’ report

These were held at Taylors Mistake SLC Christchurch in simply atrocious
conditions.  The South Island had beautiful weather all week but things had
deteriorated over night on the Friday.  We arrived at Auckland Airport to
hear the tail end of a message that said if we couldn’t land at Christchurch
we will fly back to Auckland.  Great!  The captain made an announcement as
we neared Christchurch say that there was fog and we would go into a holding
pattern for 45 minutes and if it had not cleared we would fly back to
Auckland.  About 40 minutes into the holding pattern the captain came back
and said we would keep trying and if there was no success we would land at
Wellington and get link flights from there.  However magically a gap
appeared and we landed.   By that time we were over an hour late but when we
got to the beach one race had been completed and they had put things on
hold.  Although there was a break behind the surf and the buoys had been
laid the conditions were seriously bad.  We meanwhile went to Mark Nevin’s
house where we were staying and had breakfast and added several more layers
of clothes and returned to the beach.  This was the one time when it would
have been good to have had the video camera but thinking it was going to be
flat water racing we just took the ordinary camera.  Whilst we were all
milling around Spencer Park ordered a boat which was the bright spot of the
morning.  Team Managers’ meetings were being held at frequent intervals and
after lunch a vote was taken to give it another go.   Peter Gibbons, the
carnival controller, with the backing of Mark Weatherall, Dave Hickey and
Brett Wilson, was emphatic that great care must be taken – no heroics – back
off and wait.  The competitors consisted of teams from Brighton, New
Brighton (who went home), Spencer Park, Sumner, St Clair, St Kilda and East
End – Andrew Cronin was doing a course in Dunedin and borrowed a boat and
engine and crew so that he could compete.  The first sets of races were the
Senior Single Rescue from the heats to the finals.  All went well until the
women’s race.  The race started and in not very big surf the girl acting as
crew in the Spencer Park team was seen to take off inside the boat – no feet
in the foot straps or holding onto the crew handle – just the bow line.  The
boat returned to shore and it turned out that the crew person suffered a
broken tibia.  She is only 15 and I have to say she would be one of the
bravest people I have seen.  No crying, screaming anything.  We heard later
she had to have pins and screws put in and was operated on that night.
After this the decision was made to abandon the whole meeting.

The prize giving was held in the Salty Dog bar at Sumner and although there
were not many medals to present there were lots of spot prizes and everyone
was in good heart.

IRB Nationals Held at Warrington Beach 29/30th March 2003
 

 

Day 1 – It seems we are fated yet once again.  We arrive in Dunedin to the first rain in weeks.  Although numbers were down this year probably due to distance there were teams from United North Piha, Mairangi Bay, Raglan, Kariotahi, Omanu, Papamoa, New Plymouth Old Boys, Fitzroy, Paekakariki, Opunake, Spencer Park, St. Kilda, St Clair, Sumner, Brighton, Kaka Point and of course Andrew Cronin with his substitute East End team.  There was some very close racing particularly between St Clair Opunake and Mairangi Bay.  The Brighton Ladies team performed excellently.  It was good to see the likes of John Freeman and Tiny Lawrence from Spencer Park still out there competing.  Poor Mark Weatherall was getting ragged by Gums (doing the commentary) about his forthcoming nuptuals. Because of the Highlander/Crusader match being played in Dunedin racing finished at 2.30 which was just as well as it was very cold and particularly hard on the patients.  Opunake were leading from Mairangi Bay and St Clair after day 1.

 

Day 2 dawned and it was slightly warmer but the surf was somewhat bigger. The patients were given a heater in their pen and it was the most popular place on the beach.

 

 

We were now at the stage of running semi finals in the various divisions and the competition was fierce particular in the premier division. The most entertaining races, if that is a correct terms, were those of the “Masters” amongst whose number were Curly Evans, Vaughan Garret, Graham Blanchard, John Freeman, Tiny Lawrence and a few ring-ins.  Dave Hickey when asked why he wasn’t competing pleaded too many other things to look after.

 

 

One had to feel very sorry for Sumner who in three races had engine problems.  There was great frustration and checks on the motors revealed nothing.  They would go out and test them – fine – race them and they stopped.  The mystery was eventually solved when everything had finished.  A small plastic ball the size of a bead plus a spring had come loose in the bulb pump on the fuel line.

 

 

Now who would ever have thought to look there – such a small thing caused them to miss out on at least two gold medals.  There’s the rub.

 

 

When racing finished the points leaders were Opunake, Mairangi Bay, St Clair and Spencer Park.

 

It was a great two days and thanks must go to the Warrington Club for providing lots of hot food and drinks and for hosting the VIP lunch on Sunday.

 

Prize giving was held at the Cock and Bull Pub which was jammed packed.  A presentation was made to Peter Gibbons who is standing down as Carnival Controller – he feels that he has taken things as far as he can and that it needs some new ideas.  However he does not propose to disappear and will always be there to help and he will continue to run the South Island Champs and hopes to be coach or assistant coach of St Kilda SLC.

 

 

The medal presentations over the Arancia Cup went to Opunake

 

 

The Arancia South Island Cup and BP Trophy to Spencer Park as the top overall club and best South Island Club.

 

Other Prize Winners

For full results see Surf Life Saving New Zealand Web Site www.slsnz.org.nz

IRB championships
The fourth British IRB championships were held at Maenporth beach, Falmouth on 9 October. Teams from Whitsand Bay, Hayle, Branksome, Southbourne, Portreath and Falmouth competed fiercely for over five hours for a series of trophies. The RNLI pooled motors and boats were involved in some frantic and fast action which helps improve driving and crewing skills for rescue situations.

RNLI Operations Director Michael Vlasto presented the prizes and, after seeing Adam Wooler run past in first place during one of the heats, commented: ‘Wow – he really does have a body of steel!’

John and Chris Speight from Arancia in New Zealand made the trip over for the event and were very impressed by the standard of the crews. John commented: ‘the teams from Dorset really showed the Cornwall boys and girls a thing or two!’

The overall top club was Hayle who took the Charles Thompson Trophy after winning the Arancia Single Rescue trophy and the Warren Mitchell Mass Rescue trophy. However, Whitsand Bay came from nowhere to blitz the field in the tube rescue and take away the new RNLI trophy. Both Branksome and Southbourne collected the remaining silver and bronze medals and went home pleased as punch with their efforts.

SLSNZ IRB Nationals Paekakariki 2006
Saturday 1st April arrived at Paekakariki Beach to an announcement through the intercom that due to the cold water temperatures the officials were going to retire until it warmed up. April 1st, one up to Gums on the mike, announcements like this don’t seem out of place just lately in the news or on TV. It’s Like April 1st all year.Back to the serious stuff, the event we have been waiting for all year, the show down of the iron crews in their/our rubber boats.  Paekakariki Saturday it was cold, no sun and with an onshore wind of 10 knots producing one meter choppy conditions.    Not big enough to get a good run at but big enough to wreck a good run if you took your eye off the ball. So there were few stray maneuvers – missed pick-ups and driverless boats, which can happen when the starters 303 signals the race start, all that practice and training is set in motion but flat out.
This is crunch time and it will catch the experienced out as we will see later.
Oddly enough a really “big surf” IRB event like there was at Kariotahi (Auckland Champs 2003) can have a settling effect on crews as this event was run in 3 to 4M big surf swells produced some thrilling races, but with no crew handling errors I saw.
It wasn’t till after the racing was over that we found out that all the crews were Novices
That would account for the look of shear joy on faces of some returning teams. However Jim Coe’s rescues/competitions exploits that took place in the long boats before ducks or jet boats came on the scene put the day’s competitions into perspective.The racing action is hotting up as we get into the semi finals, the wins and near wins are cheered and the disappointments shared by us all for the loses. It can take years to perfect the skills demonstrated by the top crews, and they are a sheer joy to watch even in flat water as the Sunday turned out to be.
The teams’ event is always interesting and more difficult to get right and as with the other events it reflects true beach rescue situations that the IRB crews face.
Flat out driving is not the normal rescue mode of operating the IRBs obviously, but for IRB driver it makes for an exciting ride back to the beach one up with 30HP after
dropping the bowman out at the buoy.
So to Sunday and the sea is like a millpond, no wind but a lot warmer at 18Deg. Competing teams points score totals are announced so the screws go on making every point count in getting the medals and the trophies the teams have worked hard for.
The Duck TrophyThe racing carries on nonstop. Premier Assemble final Andrew cant get off the beach, the waters gone from under the boat having dragged it out to were it was at the starters gun, 5 second pass before there off but the rest of the crews have a huge lead and its 5th place instead of a meddle. Having blitzed the field in the Tube Rescue event on Saturday.Open teams event final Justin (Wainui) elects to go second driver but Chris and Jaron  (Fitzroy) pullout such a lead by taking the start (first driver) that Justin although closing rapidly on Fitzroy’s second driver is unable to peg it back and misses his pick up.   I find this out in the clubhouse after it’s all over. Thanks for that Russell, for the story and the beer. Check out the results on http://www.surflifesaving.org.nz/
Big thanks also to the host club the officials the tireless work teams, catering staff and all the other volunteer helpers and not forgetting the IRB lifeguards involve who made this another success competition, a warm fuzzes event. Where catching up with past IRB champions, crews, officials, supporters, meeting families, some now as competitors, and swapping tall stories, is well, just Cool.Congratulations to all the Winners.

The new Arancia Trophy for top Premier IRB Champion crew went to Chris Scott and Jaron Mumby (Fitzroy), making them the first Four times NZ IRB Premier Champions.
The Old IRB Arancia Cup competed for every year since1980, Chris and Jaron won for
Opunake for the last three years equaling Craig Ashman and Ryan Street, also from Opunake, three wins 1995-1997.The old cups was retired to Surf House Wellington.

Bronze DucksNew Premier Champion Duck Trophy (resin bronze) story
It was found, or should we say it spotted us as this ducks eye followed me as we walked past a shop window at Henley-in-Arden in the UK late last year. We had to go back and look at “the” duck closer, surrounded with all its shop mates – dogs cats rabbits pigs, it must have been thinking to migrate somewhere warmer for the UK winter. And these two NZ travelers would do, all 5kgs of it. So much for traveling light.
Ode, Duck seemed to become invisible to airport security x-ray at Heathrow, if x-rayed it would have shown up, as it was only wrapped up in my luggage on the flight back to NZ. So much for security or bird flue. The airport security X-ray staff at Auckland when we flew down to Paekakariki a month latter didn’t miss “Duck”, and had a good laugh after checking it had no feathers or Flue.
We had to fly down of course; Trophy Duck wouldn’t go by car.Take care till the next IRB gathering.

John  & Chris

View Images

British IRB Champs Report Bournmouth October 2006

This weekend saw the SLSAGB’s 5th national Inshore Rescue Boat Championships contested at Bournemouth Pier, where clubs from all over Great Britain displayed their skills and fitness performing high speed rescues using their Arancia inflatable surf rescue boats.

Local club Branksome Chine’s A team scored gold in the mass rescue, winning the Warren Mitchell trophy for the first time as well as silvers in single and tube rescue and the highest individual team pointscore. Hayle’s 3 teams scored good results across the board and won the tube rescue, single rescue and managed to keep hold of the overall club pointscore trophy.

Southbourne and Whitsand Bay also put up fierce competition and won their share of races and medals and everyone had a great day in the unusually sunny October, day with a lovely clean little easterly swell pushing through all day and well over 200 spectators on the pier and promenade.

The local organising team had their hands full keeping all the boats running all day with various engine failures throughout the competition, no spare engines, and getting called out to rescue a stricken kite surfer 2 miles up the beach. But all was forgotten when everyone gathered around the bbq at the Westover Rowing Club for a well deserved drink and the awards ceremony with Warren Mitchell- the man behind IRB’s in surf lifesaving.

Thanks to everyone- locals and those travelling several hours to attend who helped make this arguably the best IRB champs yet. And well done to Jenny from Branksome Chine for being the only female driver in the competition, throwing down the gauntlet for other female teams.

Looking forward to next year we hope more teams will get involved, Wales and Devon being conspicuous in their absence, now the format is becoming familiar and hopefully we can start developing a national coaching structure and make IRB rescue competition a possibility for all clubs around Great Britain.

South Island Champs – Warrington Beach Dunedin – 10 March 2007

Because of other commitments it was two years since our last visit to Dunedin for the Championships. We flew down on Saturday morning and arrived to a sunny day but with a temperature of 7 deg c!!! By the time we reached the beach at 10 am it was considerably warmer and although we did wear jackets the thermals were unnecessary.

Teams from ten clubs were competing including Whangamata in the North Island whose crew are at University in Dunedin at the moment. We did spy a Paekakariki hat amongst the competitors and we learned later that Ben who had been overseas was at the last minute unable to make it. It must have been extremely disappointing.

There was enough surf to make it interesting and it was great to see clubs like Kaka Point holding their own and in fact winning bronze in the Mass Rescue Senior and also in the Single Rescue Senior event – these medals were the first they had won at these Championships. Although the young team from Spencer Park was not in the medals they put up a good performance.

The top Club was St Clair closely followed by St Kilda 4 points behind and Sumner in third place. It would be interesting to know if it would have been a dead heat between the Saints if St Kilda hand not joined forces with Paekak in one race which because it was a mixed team did not qualify for points. A generous gesture.

It really was a fun event well organized and controlled by Peter Gibbons and the beach officials.

The prize giving was held at the St Kilda Club house and after the medal ceremony a draw has held for a Wilsco Tank donated by Arancia and the thrilled recipient was Waimari.

We won’t leave it another two years before we attend as for us it is one of the highlights of the year.

IRB Nationals Ohope Beach

Whakatane  31/3 – 1/4 2007
Arrived at beach to find a large tent and lots of flags but no sign of boats or lifesavers.  The club house was shut and there was nothing to say where the event was.  We coincidentally arrived at the same time as an acquaintance from Auckland who had come down to take photos.  We both got on our phones to try and find out the location but to no avail.  We decided that we would have a final try at the club house and found a note on the floor saying because of the conditions they had moved to Ohiwi Point in the harbour.

What a delightful spot.  No surf, lots of sun with  a strong current running across the arena to test the swimmers.  There were 72 races to get through that day which was the reason for moving as the because of the surf conditions back at the beach they would have had to put the bouys so far out and it would take far too long to run the races and would ruin the schedule.  It really was quick fire racing but in the tube race it was particularly difficult for the girl teams swimming against the current.

At the end of the day we retuned to Ohope for the competitors to clean their boats and engines before the prize giving for those events which had been concluded.  What an awesome sight = 35+ boats piled up on top of each other.  This was the largest or second largest Nationals ever with 30 clubs and 96 teams.

Sunday dawned fine and as expected the evet returned to Ohope Beach.  The 2-2.5M Surf was still very messy with double wave breaks common on an outgoing tide but the competitors were glad to get back to competing in surf.  Racing in the semis and finals was so close and by the lunch break there was little between the clubs in the various divisions.

Of particular interest to us was the races in the Premier division for the top crew – competing for the Arancia Trophy.  Would it be Fitzroy, Wainui, East End or perhaps St Clair.  By now the tide was coming in and the distance to the bouys was longer.  It was nail biting stuff not only in this division but in the Under 21s and Senior Divisions.  Right up until the end no one was sure of who would win the major trophies.

We were pleased to learn that the boat repaired by John the previous evening gave no problems?

Why should you Never attempt  to repair a tear punctured on a boat  on the beach when the sun has gone down.

The coatings of glue on the patch area attract miosture when the glues thinners evaporisates causing a frosting effect  and no bonding strength

Prize giving had just began when we had the only rain of the day but it didnt last long.  This year there was a new trophy donated by Russell and Marianne Sager (Russell is the starter and Marianne does the results) for the Open Teams race.  The trophy was in the form of a Canon which is rather appropriate.  The Arancia Trophy was won by Andrew Cronin and his crew of East End – well deserved too.  Fitzroy took out the BP trophy for best overall club and St Clair the Arancia South Island Club.  Having presented the cups we were then presented with shirts commemorating the South Island Champs two weeks previously generously donated by Peter Gibbons the organiser of that event.

Thanks to all the officials and the Ohope Club for making this event possible, one of the most exciting and testing events for some years.

Chris Speight

SLSGB IRB Championships 2007- 7th October 2007

This weekend saw the Surf Lifesaving Association of Great Britain’s 6th National Inshore Rescue Boat Championships.  This year’s competition took place at Bournemouth Pier; the perfect setting for the event.  Hundreds of spectators stopped along the esplanade to watch the 2007 IRB Championships.  Clubs from all over Great Britain displayed their skills and fitness performing high speed rescues using the Arancia inflatable surf rescue boats.

1Hayle’s A team took 1st place in the mass rescue, winning the Warren Mitchell trophy as well as taking 3rd spot in the single rescue and coming second in the overall team scores with 69 points.  Hayle C also put in a great performance and took 2nd place in the tube rescue event, ending up just behind their A team with 63.75 points in the overall team scores.

2Local teams from Branksome gave an outstanding display of skills, winning the single rescue event and scooping second place in the mass rescue and single rescue events.  Branksome’s A team showed that they are still a hard team to beat in an IRB by winning the overall team scores with 78 points.  All three of Branksome’s team put maximum effort in on the day.  Branksome ladies team took 1st place in all three events and helped to put there club on top in the overall club points score with 213 points.

3Southbourne, Aberavon and Porthmawr proved on the day that their teams are on top form as usual and it was great to see new teams from Polzeath, Saunton Sands and Mumbles.

Many thanks go out to those who helped in the running and organisation of the event, it was very difficult with an increased number of teams this year but overall the event was a success.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2008n IRB Championships, in the hope that more clubs will become interested in this fantastic event.

 

MENS

Overall Pointscore Mass R Points Place Tube Points Place Single R Points Place TOTAL POINTS
Branksome A
27
2
21
4
30
1
78
Hayle A
30
1
15
8
24
3
69
Hayle C
21
4
27
2
15.75
7
63.75
Southbourne A
24
3
19.5
5
18
6
61.5
Aberavon A
19.5
5
30
1
10.5
9
60
Branksome B
0
18
6
27
2
45
Polzealth
10.5
10
9.75
10
19.5
5
39.75
Saunton B
6.75
12
16.5
7
15.75
7
39
Southerndown
16.5
7
0
21
4
37.5
Hayle B
15
8
12
9
6
12
33
Saunton A
12
9
9.75
10
6
12
27.75
Mumbles A
9
11
9.75
10
6
12
24.75
Langland Bay
4.5
14
9.75
10
10.5
9
24.75
Sauton C
0
24
3
0
24
Porthmawr A
18
6
0
2.25
15
20.25
Porthmawr B
0
5.25
14
10.5
9
15.75
Aberavon B
6.75
12
5.25
14
2.25
15
14.25

 

WOMENS

Overall Pointscore Mass R Points Place Tube Points Place Single R Points Place TOTAL POINTS
Branksome W
30
1
30
1
30
1
90
Southbourne W
27
2
27
2
27
2
81
SAUNTON w
24
3
0
3
24
3
48

 

CLUB POINTS

BRANKSOME
213
HAYLE
165.8
SOUTBOURNE
142.5
SAUNTON
138.8
ABERAVON
74.25
POLZEALTH
39.75
SOUTHERNDOWN
37.5
PORTMAWR
36
MUMBLES
24.75
LANGLAND
24.75
North Island BP IRB Champs 8 December 2007 – Oakura

The forecast was abysmal – rain – strong winds – cold – so we packed the termals into our hand luggage and flew down to Plymouth on the Friday night and took advantage of the last of the sun to take a long walk.

Saturday dawned overcast and cool as we drove to the beach and on arrival there was a glimpse of the sun. The competitors from the 19 clubs participating were already in full swing and were well into the tube rescue. Most unusual for Oakura there was a gentle “East Coast Ripple” of less than half a metre but which did increase at odd times during the day just to keep everyone on their toes.

As the day wore on the sun came out in full force and there was little sign of wind so the conditions were good for both East and West Coast teams. One of the members of the Orewa squad was an exchange lifeguard from the RNLI and by coincidence was part of the Polzeath (Cornwall) team competing in the UK Champs and remarked to one of the United lifeguards that he had seen Chris at those competitions. Small world. On the same topic we also met a RNLI lifeguard who is normally with Staunton Beach in Devon. Great to see such exchanges.

As the racing continued it became very clear within the Senior Division that there are a lot of up and coming clubs with all four events in the Senior divison being won by different crews. In the Premier Division there was close competition between Fitzroy and East End. In the Under 21s New Plymouth Old Boys were to the fore and in the Women’s Division the girls from Fitzroy shone out.

Events of particular note were:

  • New Plymouth Old Boys girls having to paddle back into shore to complete their race only to discover they had run out of fuel!

  • Russell running out of ammunitition to start the races – lets hope he gets some more for his trusty World War 11 303.
  • The appearance of Bat Man and Robin in one of the Senior races complete with cloaks and masks – what a diversion that proved to be.

The day went all too quickly and before we knew it we had to leave to catch the last plane back to Auckland and missed the prize giving. It was a great surprise to see that East End overcame Fiitzroy to take out the top club award. Well done to all concerned.

As usual the officials deserve a big thank you for making it all happen and also to Old Boys Club for hosting the event.

Glad to say the thermals were unnecessary and we both had a rosy glow around the cheeks.

Waipu Cove – 6 December 2008 – North Island BP IRB Champs

 

We arrived at Waipu just after the start of the heats for the Tube Rescue to find that contrary to what we expected there was surf, and with 22 clubs competing, which could well be a record, we were in for a great days racing.  

Also great to see clubs who do not normally participate in IRB competitions competing and gaining experience.  

 

The competition in all events and divisions was extremely close especially in the Premier events.   Muriwai who won the Arancia Trophy at the Nationals was determined to put up a good defence and the main contenders were East End and Fitzroy and right down to the last event we were told there was only five points separating the top two clubs.  Fitzroy did not have as many crews as Muriwai and East End but Chris Scott and Jaron Mumby were scintillating and set an extremely high standard for everyone else.  So Fitzroy were missing for the Teams event , always an event to produce exciting action especially with an offshore wind for the return to the beach with driver only.

 

The Women’s teams continue to improve and competition was close with East End wining the Tube Rescue with St Clair second and Muriwai Third.  In the Mass Rescue it was Muriwai 1, East End 2; the Assembly Muriwai followed by Kariotahi and St Clair.  The Single Rescue was won by St Clair with East End second and Spencer Park third.

 

As always the Officials worked tirelessly to make the event run smoothly and this year we had Bart Wilson as starter having to fill the large boots of  Russell Sagar and an excellent job he did too.  A big thanks go to them and Waipu SLSC for such an enjoyable Championship round.

Another no equipment damaged  or injuries day.  Perfect.

 

 

Chris Speight
NATIONAL IRB CHAMPIONSHIPS 28-29 March 2009 – OAKURA

 

The biggest and the best ever and the credit for this must go to the unsung heroes – those dedicated officials who worked all day without a break to make the event successful. We thank each and every one you and of course Maree, Jaime and Mark Weatherall.

32 Clubs and 109 Teams – when we arrived on Saturday morning from the airport all you could see was a sea – nay an ocean – of lifesavers. It brought a lump to the throat. The surf was about 2 metres and quite challenging especially for the under 21s. Because of the large number of entries there were lots of heats to get through before the tide was fully out. At least at Oakura you could move from one part of the beach to another and get extra time. There were lots of thrills and spills mainly because crews were not using the foot straps and even the patient boats were not exempt!!!

Sunday was very exciting with all the semi finals and then the finals with Fitzroy, East End and Wainui running neck to neck. The reintroduction of the Masters Class was great with all the diehards competing. It was also good to see the resurgence of Mount Maunganui which must be due to the example of chook and Cribby who told us they thought they might go back into Prems next year – must be too young (at heart) for the Masters!

Excitement was buzzzzzzzzzing as the finals were run and it became evident that there was only a whisker between Fitzroy and East End but we would have to wait for prize giving for the result.

The outcome was that East End came out on top winning medals in every division and the Top Club BP Award as well as the Arancia Trophy. Fitzroy gave them a standing ovation and when Andrew thanked everyone for coming to East End’s aid following the loss of their engines it really was moving.

It may have been the largest Nationals ever but the camaraderie between the clubs and competitors was even greater. We are so proud of the sportsmanship which exists within the movement by the volunteer lifeguards.

We can’t wait for next season ……………………

Chris Speight
National IRB Champs Waipu Cove 2010

Waipu Cove

Biggest IRB event ever over three days allowing the over 30 Clubs and 300 + competitors a bit more down time to organise things.

Near perfect whether, 20deg no wind, surf was a bit small but enough to present a challenge. Lane advantages were few and these could reversed depending on the tide. Lane one at low tide was slightly longer and shallower but in the finals later on Sunday Fitzroy were able to use to their advantage in the a single rescue finals and come home with a gold.

This was Chris and Jarons farewell to competition after 14 years of racing IRBs and what a fitting end with 2 golds out of 3 in the Premier division. Thanks for some brilliant racing over the years, you will be missed.

The disadvantage of a shallow lane, ( longer drag to getting enough water under the prop), Chris & Jaron used their size/strength to build up more speed in the shallow water drag, fire up the engine the same time as they boarded the boat for the perfect get away.

East End (favourites) and Muriwai should have had the advantage but thru Fitzroys skill , strength & precise timing they were pipped at the post.

Its boat handling like this we see at most IRB events that demonstrate the skills the top IRB crews have developed at National in IRB Championships level.

Regarding Starts (Personal Observation)

NZ is the only country that retain the old rules of the option of ingear external engine starts. Last trip over the ditch we witnessed multiple boat dumpings at the waters edge from the surf shore break during competition at Kawana Waters QLD. thru drivers having to use inboard starts only. Boat is held by two helpers in waste deep water while the driver gets in turns his back on the approaching surf and starts the engine, waits for the bowman to get in then starts off from the beach, if he is still the right way up. This is not a very successful way of tackling a shore break esspecially without helpers.

Solder Beach years ago in a similar big shore break used an outboard in gear engine start and perfect timing to launch into 3m surf while other competitors failed. Taking away a drivers call is not good.

Thinking ahead, using the conditions to your advantage, taking everything in before the event or rescue and having options will make a rescue less dangerous or a DNF into gold.

SLSNZ have the right IRB rules, (the old ones) and long may they continue for the overall skill levels they promote.

Congratulations to East End, Top Club and to all the other Clubs/competitors/patients esspecially the South Is Clubs who worked hard to get to this years BP IRB Nationals and of Course the Waipu Cove Club & the tireless official/helpers/supporters.

For some great action shots view Vince Pols site . www.orange74.com/ click Galleries. SLS events, Waipu Cove.

Have a Safe Winter.

John

British Inshore Rescue Boat Championships 2010

Bournmouth 25th Sept 2010

Once again the sun shone on what was the biggest and best British IRB Champs so far. A record entry of 71 teams from 8 clubs competed in the four disciplines of Tube Rescue, Mass Rescue, Teams Rescue and Single Rescue in what was a superb day of IRB racing, in flat conditions, but with a testing shore break and a challenging beach topography at low tide. Congratulations to Hayle who took top spot in the Men’s event; to Saunton Sands who won the Ladies event and to the combined team from Saunton Sands who took out the British Championships and the Charles Thomson Memorial Trophy. Individual events and trophies went to;

Men’s

  • Tube Rescue (RNLI Trophy) – Whitsand Bay A
  • Mass Rescue (Warren Mitchell Trophy) – Southbourne A
  • Teams Rescue (SLSGB Trophy) – Saunton Sands A
  • Single Rescue (Arancia Trophy) – Hayle A

 

Women’s

  • Tube Rescue (Bill Ezekiel Trophy) – Whitsand Bay
  • Mass Rescue (Barrus Marine Trophy) – Whitsand Bay
  • Single Rescue (Ken Mitchell Trophy) – Southbourne

 

An over 40’s Masters event was run for the first time and although there were no points or medals this time it was still hotly contested. Whitsand Bay took the honours in all three events but are going to have to fight hard to retain their supremacy as clubs have indicated that they will be entering more Masters teams next year.

Alexandra 2010

Alexandria

October 2010

After the excitement of the British and European Championships we couldn’t wait to arrive in Egypt. What an experience, finding our lift at Cairo Airport eventually, being driven round Cairo to find the Germans TV Camera gear, arriving 5 hrs later at the 3/1 star hotel at 1.30 am and being awoken at 4.00 am by a Mullah on megaphone summoning all to prayer, a riveting first Sunday evenings experience. Sunday, being a normal working day/night that goes on till Monday. We thought our accommodation was less than 1 star but we were lucky, those who were staying in apartments were not so lucky and had to totally clean them out first.

It was free practice on the beach on the Monday before the event so we went to meet the teams and compare notes. Denmark were life savers in every way as when the boat supply fell through they came into the breach and supplied their Arancias (Livredders)and engines. Although the majority of Lifeguards were familiar with Arancias they were not used to 25hp Yamahas so they were glad of practice to test them out and also the ILS rules. Peter Connell the Chief Referee and Bill Ezekiel from England did a great job at the briefing that evening and again on the Tuesday making it quite clear to competitors and officials what was permitted and what wasn’t .
The clubs competing were:
England – Saunton Sands the 2010 British and European champs; Hayle from Cornwall and Southbourne in Dorset.
Denmark
New Zealand – East End the NZ 2010 champions and Waimarama (late entrants).
Australia – North Burleigh and Wye Valley
Belgium – this team had never competed before and are to be complimented for improving with every race.

Race Day – Tuesday 12th October

It was quietly decided that the IRB event could be completed in one day which caught this scribe out having a swim so I missing a good few photo opportunities.
Racing was close and exciting even though there was no surf, it was nail biting and right to the end the competition was fierce. But as commented on by a UK team it was disappointing that points did not count towards the World Championships. On the day all Lifeguard competitors were champions and we would not have missed the event for the World.

 

IRB Results

We have been unable to find the results in print but we did manage to record the prize giving as it happen. Congratulations to the winners you are new world champions.

Refer to the presentation photos under Competition Photos for results.

BP IRB Championships Whangamata
1-3 APRIL 2011

With over 100 teams present – very fitting for the celebration of 100 years of Surf Live Saving Volunteers. Great to see some of the clubs who do not have a high profile in racing such as Pauanui, Piha’s two new teams, Kaka Point from the deep South,Wanganui, Waikanae, Palmerston North and Orewa to name but a few. Also the re-emergence of Spencer Park, Kariotahi and Omanu Beach. And of course the 40 teams from East End must be the biggest ever.

Whangamata is such a great beach for competitions as it is very even for the competitors, with surf varying between 1 – 2 metres. Sun and cloudy intervals prevailed. The beach was humming as can be imagined with all the competitors plus spectators who were quite enthralled by the proceedings. The choppy surf conditions making forward progress a challenge at times but it was good to see several clubs have mastered the Chris/Jargon technique. See picks of Widgets just after impact.

This atmosphere must have been a tonic for Sumner, Spencer Park, North Beach and Taylors Mistake after the earthquake in Christchurch and everyone was glad to see them there. Racing in all divisions was nail bitingly close – just as well New Zealand has electronic gates because it would be so difficult, if not nigh impossible, if the judges on the start finish line had to rely on line of sight& video replays.

Competition was also tight between the women’s teams whose numbers are increasing each year and the Fitzroy Ladies were convincing winners as has been the case in the past. The East End Club were outstanding – particularly Andrew Cronin, James Morwood and Emma Cronin proving themselves worthy of their title of World Champions. However they didn’t have all their own way having been beaten in the Open Teams race by the other Premier East End crew of Mitchell Gregg and Scott Nelson.

We must not, not of course forget the Masters who gave us so much entertainment culminating in Mount Maunganui represented by Cribbie/Chook and Fergus Rieger taking the honours.

Although East End were the overall winners with a massive 90 points the rest of the top five were very close. The Arancia Trophy of course was won by East End. Surf Life Saving’s 100 years of Life Saving happily coincided with Arancia producing their 1000th IRB and we thought it would be fitting that this should be presented at this event, the names of all participating clubs being put in the hat. Taylors Mistake from earthquake ravished Christchurch was the lucky club, we left themsitting on the side of Hull No 1000 looking a bit dazed. We wish Taylors Mistake & other Christchurch Clubs damaged in the shocking recent earthquakes a speedy recovery, your participation in this very special 100 years of Lifeguarding Event was an inspiration to us all.

Action photos can be viewed under Competition Photos or on Vince Pols site http://www.Orange74.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=25332

Chris & John Speight
2011