Piha Boaties take on Whangamata Classic

Posted by Piha Boaties
Whangamata Classic – Surf Boat Series, Round One Whangamata, Coromandel

Last weekend the Piha Boaties ventured south for our first carnival of the year. We knew that the competition was going to be tough this year, so after a couple of months in the gym for some of us, all the hard work paid off! We had four crews competing in three different divisions, as well as the Piha Black Pearls Open Women’s Crew trialling for the NZ Representative Squad. The surf could have been a little bit bigger, but the sun was shining and an epic weekend was had!

Piha Black Pearls, Open Women's

The Piha Black Pearls were racing for the first time since their bronze medal achievements at last season’s Nationals. After two months of solid training together with two new winter recruits, Leilani and Mia joining the veterans, Audrey and Gracey, they were fizzing to go. With NZ selection on the line, every race was going to count and first up they had fellow trialists, Orewa and Titahi Bay. It was an incredibly close race from start to finish but were pipped on the line for third place. The second race saw them absolutely dominate and they took the win by being two waves in front. A second place in the third race was enough to make the final, lining up against last years’ NZ crew, Muriwai, as well as Orewa and Titahi Bay once again, they were out to prove a point and that they did, flying off the start. Titahi bay had the edge on them for the majority of the race but a valiant fight back rowing over and down a wave to catch to the lead crew was enough to see BurgerFuel's very own Audrey up the beach to take the WIN!

Piha Pineapples, U23 Men's

This year we have had a big change in our Under 23's Pineapple crew with three guys leaving the crew due to ageing out from the division and three new keen enthusiastic members joining. With only a small wave running on the day we were able to cement different techniques and strategies we intend on implementing this summer. The Piha Pineapples did well for a fresh crew at their first carnival together pulling off every position on the podium throughout the day. It was competitive and close with the other crews on the water making it clear that this season is going to ramp up to be quite a competitive year. At the end of the day the Piha Pineapples ended up coming in third overall with room for improvement, bring on round two!

Piha A Crew, Open Men's

The Piha A Crew went out for their first paddle for the year, one hour prior to the commencement of racing, after finally locking in a crew the week of. While JP had just a few erg sessions under his belt, the others were relying on their brute strength and height. Josh and Brandon have made the switch from the successful U23 Whangamata crew while Ben is one of Piha’s longest serving active rowers. They got off to a flying start in their first race however were quickly reeled in by the two crews aiming for NZ selection, Red Beach and Titahi Bay. Unfortunately it was to be like this for the remainder of the day with the Piha Boys taking out third overall. A huge positive to take out of the day is there is already good speed and mixed with some fitness, these boys will be back in action in no time

Piha Pumas, Open Women's

This year we have put together an Open Women's development squad, the Piha Pumas! A couple of girls who have rowed for Piha previously, and a couple of fresh faces.
Having only been on the water from a few weeks before the competition, the girls rowed very well together. No placings as of yet, but they weren't too far off from the rest of the pack, there is a huge amount of potential in this crew which will certainly make for a team to watch out for in the New Year. Having two Piha crews in the same division always makes for some healthy, in-house competition!

Future Piha U19 Girls

And to top off the weekend, we dropped a fresh bunch of young U19 girls from our Competition Squad in the boat to give it a jam. They all returned to the beach with smiles from ear to ear. Thanks to Tom Jacka for getting them out there and doing the intro to the world we live in. I know they’ll be back, hello new generation of boaties!

Unfortunately, as of 5.30pm Monday night, it was announced that our Piha Black Pearls missed out on the NZ crew selection, by one place. This has just stoked the fire to train harder, faster, stronger for the season to come and show the rest of the field who we are.

Our next carnival will be at Oakura Beach, New Plymouth on the 12th of January, for Round Two of the Surf Boat Series. A wee break for Christmas & New Years, and straight back into it.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year from the Piha Boaties!