With the 2018-19 summer season now in full swing, enthusiasm is running high for the Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club and its members.
The club is counting down to the mid-November opening of its redeveloped clubrooms, a project which has been at the top of its agenda for some time. Construction work has taken place in stages, simply because of the associated costs to transform the beachfront headquarters. The re-opening will bring the project close to full completion.
When the patrolling season gets into full stride, the club will have 25 newly qualified lifeguards to call on. They obtained their Surf Lifeguard awards in September and will get to carry out volunteer patrols at Red Beach and Pakiri over the summer. And there will be more qualifications during November when the next award exam is held.
The club’s IRB ranks are also on a strong footing with eight lifeguards recently qualifying as drivers of the powered craft and 15 obtaining their crewman qualifications. The club also has two new instructors; one for IRBs and the other for surf lifeguard awards.
The club has come through the winter months with some successful fundraising stints under its belt. Funds raised will go towards new equipment, coaching and the redevelopment project.
In September, two consecutive Sundays set aside for JuniorSurf registrations resulted in a very healthy intake of youngsters aged 4-13 years. The Junior opening day took place on Sunday 28 October and the club is still taking registrations.
As a goodwill gesture, Red Beach gifted 20 training boards to the Mangawhai Heads club which doubled its Junior membership last season.
“The boards were no longer in use at Red Beach so we were perfectly placed to help Mangawhai out,” said club coach Jack Gavin.
On the competition scene, activity is ramping up. The club recently participated in the regional and national pool rescue championships. It staged its annual Pub to Club event which saw club members paddle on skis, boards and in surf canoes down the Puhoi River for the 16km journey across the ocean to Red Beach. And club athletes recently competed in the season-opening Long Distance Carnival at Mairangi Bay.
The club has just hosted a canoe training day for Northern Region canoe paddlers and organisers were buoyed by the turnout of 19 crews. The increase in numbers was the result of a decision to race a division for U16 crews for the very first time.
In November, club athletes head off to two Northern Region surf carnivals at Waipu Cove and Muriwai.
Pictured at top ... redevelopment work on the clubrooms is nearing completion.