Club lifeguards have given the 2018-19 season a kick-start with a 16km paddle down the Puhoi River to Red Beach on Saturday 15 September. They were met with warm, sunny spring weather and favourable ocean conditions.
The event involved around 70 club members, 55 of whom paddled the distance on boards, single skis and in three surf canoes. Also on the water was a five-man waka. IRB crews carried out water patrol duties and they were supported by club members on jet skis and pleasure craft.
The paddle has turned into an annual event and is viewed as a means to build fitness and stamina and to ‘blow away the cobwebs’ with the start of the new season close at hand. The first competition event, the Long Distance Carnival, takes place on 6 October at Mairangi Bay.
“It was a pre-season club day which drew in all age groups; it was great for building our club culture and it was an ideal way to introduce the new members to our ranks,” said club coach Jack Gavin.
A large number of paddlers were Rookie lifeguards last summer who are about to sit the Surf Lifeguard Award exam to become qualified guards.