Red Beach rides wave to top spot at champs

Rough conditions made for a challenging junior surf champs and caused events to be cut short on Sunday.

Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club came out on top at the Surf Life Saving Northern Region (SLSNR) Junior Championships at Omaha on February 3 and 4.

The event saw over 330 juniors hit the water coming from as far as Ruakaka and Whakatane.
Red Beach finished the weekend with 119 points, followed by Mairangi Bay on 100 points and Orewa on 93 points.

Red Beach chair Dylan Turner says it was pleasing to get a result with some close competition.
“In the past Red Beach has dominated a number of these events, but this year it was extremely tight and there wasn’t much between the top teams,” Dylan says. “You have to give credit to all of the teams competing who have really set the standard at a very high level.”

Although he is stoked with the result, Dylan says a positive club culture is more important.

“When I came into my role the club was very winning orientated, but for me it’s more important that we develop leaders here and have an inclusive culture where everyone gets opportunities to compete.

“We have 1200 juniors currently and that number is on the rise due to the population increase so we need to continue to provide opportunities for all of our members.”

The new SLSNR sport manager Lewis McClintock was pleased with his first event.

“Omaha was a great venue to host the champs despite a real mixed bag of weather across the weekend,” Lewis says.

Lewis had a role previously as Auckland Rugby community rugby manager and worked for the body for seven years.

“Much like the rugby I’ve already seen how important volunteers are in organising events like this one and it’s important to provide them with the resources they need to have a successful event.

“One big difference is that surf events need a lot of people on the ground to keep juniors safe in the water so we need to retain that buy in from helpers.”

In the role Dylan has aspirations to improve pathways for juniors and to increase the number of lifeguards coming through.

“It’s important that juniors know how to progress with surf life saving as they become adults, because a lot of organisations lose numbers through that transition period.

“We also have a requirement to grow the number of lifeguards we produce to match the increasing number of beachgoers in the Northern region,” he says.


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