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Piha Boaties - Central Region Championships 2019

Posted by Piha Boaties

Last weekend the Piha Boaties crew packed up the Nissan Navara beasts and road tripped south-west for Round Three of the Surf Boat Series at Oakura Beach, New Plymouth. Oakura beach was on debut for a regional Surf Life Saving event, and what a day it put on for us! We turned up bright and early last Saturday morning to see almost perfect 1.5m swells rolling our way. An adrenaline fuelled day was about to begin!

The Piha squad rolled in with five crews competing in four different divisions, including our Open Men’s Piha Priapist’s, and our Under 23 Women – Piha Pingers kicking off their 2018/19 season, and, our Piha Pineapples and Power Rangers going head to head in Under 23 Men’s.

Surf Boat Series: Round Three

Open Men's Division

The Piha Priapists have been working hard off the water this season to ensure they are in the hunt for medals come Nationals in March. The Priapists showed consistency and confidence in large surf, coming in either 2nd or 3rd throughout their 5 round series. Last weekend showed just how close they are to achieving set goals, finishing in 3rd place overall – and very well deserved. With the addition of a new crew member this year we have seen a gain in overall speed and power and are looking forward to Waihi next month where we can continue cementing racing strategies. Hopefully Waihi brings a decent wave and we will be back in our element and ready to dominate!

Open Women's Division

The Piha Black Pearls were competing in their second carnival for the season after a well-deserved break. Conditions we’re markedly different from the 1ft at Whangamata in December, so it was going to be a true test of surf rowing. The girls were breathing a sigh of relief after getting out clean in their first race, sitting level with the recently named NZ crew from Titahi Bay. A decent sized swell was beginning to build on the way home and the girls trailed oars however limited practice made for some interesting post racing Go Pro footage with the boat broaching (going sideways). The other leading crew had dramas of their own meaning the girls were able to secure a first place in race 1 to take the lead in the 5 race series. The events of the second race were much the same although the results were reversed with a second place secured in race 2 levelling things up with Titahi Bay. The 6ft surf was nearly absent in the open women’s third race requiring them to all the way row out and back however an unfavourable alley saw them pick up a third place. The surf returned for races 4 and 5 and lessons had been learnt from the first 2 races, although two 2nd places were all that they could muster, earning them 2nd overall. All in all it was a very successful carnival for the Black Pearls, with some big lessons learned. They now head away for a big couple of weeks of training before competing again on the 8th and 9th of February in Waihi at the North Islands Champs.

Under 23's Division

The Piha Pineapples kicked off this round slightly on the back foot, hosting a crew member still building shoulder strength after an injury. Even with the approach taken the Pineapples managed to pull placings from 1st through to 3rd showing that they are completely capable of winning top place this year. After their 5 round series, they finished the day in 3rd place, only 1 point from second and 2 points from 1st. The division this year is very close and the small detail matters, leading into Nationals this year the Pineapples are going to work on the smaller details that we believe will be the key to taking the top of the podium this summer. Having our fellow teammates – the Piha Power Rangers in the same division makes for epic competition and training tactics. We will definitely be fending off each other for that top spot.

The Piha Power Rangers started off their careers in the U23 Men’s division with a bang, grabbing 1st place in the first round and held the division lead all the way until the final race. The guys had a game plan and all knew exactly what was needed of them to hold this lead. They all exceeded expectations and only having to beat Titahi Bay in the final race to grab the Gold. The crew dug deep, climbing some liquid mountains and catching some screamers home, unfortunately, they were narrowly beaten but still retained the silver wear. All in all couldn’t have asked for much more from the Power Rangers and if this carnival is anything to go by, these fullas are not a team to take lightly. Watch out at Waihi Titahi Bay, we’re on our way.

Central Region Champ’s was the Piha Pingers first competition of the season. With a crew deep in training, large surf and a fresh sweep, meant there was some interesting racing to come. The girl’s boat speed was right up there with the other top crews for the first half of the race, however the plan for day was simply surviving the surf, testing our skills, and getting sweep Chris some awesome surf practice at the helm. After hanging out the back waiting for the monsters to roll by, the girls missed a podium finish, but came away with a massive confidence boost and only a few bruises to tell some stories. A crucial day for the season as the team built their surf confidence and will look to be very competitive at the competitions to come.

Our next carnival will be at Waihi Beach, Coromandel on the 9-10th of February, for Round Four of the Surf Boat Series on Saturday and Champions of Champions on Sunday. After a training camp on the 2-3rd of February and a whole heap of ergs, the Piha Boaties crew will be roaring to go for another competition domination.  Until next month, swim between the flags :)