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Club Captains Report
Whangarei Heads VSLSP wins Surf Life Saving Northern Region's Rescue of the Month for April.
Congratulations to all of those involved for a fine demonstration of the basic lifeguarding skills which every lifeguard should be proud of.

Fonterra Beach Clean Up 2008

As part of their way of giving back to the community, a crew from Fonterra annually travel around the regions coastline collecting the rubbish so often discarded by other beach users. This year, the Fonterra team came to Whangarei Heads, and collected rubbish from Ocean Beach itself, and from the bays on their way back into the city. You can see from the photo there was a fair amount of rubbish collected at Ocean Beach, which shows how much is discarded and without groups like this collecting it, would remain in the environment causing ongoing pollution, and potential danger to the wildlife.

In the photo, from left to right are:- Taryn Haslem, Tina Keatley, Rachael Kennedy, Tracey Douglas, Leonie Lenne, Jim LeLievre and George Hoberechts.

Thanks from the Whangarei Heads VSLSP to the Fonterra crew for giving up their work time (which I'm sure they all jumped at the chance for) to help keep our environment clean.

Whangarei Heads VSLSP Competes!!!!!

Yes it's true, for the first time in many many years, Whangarei Heads has entered a crew into a District competition, which isn't a Junior Surf competition. On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February 2008, a crew of 13 qualified lifeguards, ranging in age from 14 through to.....well, probably best not to mention the age of our oldest competing member, descended on Ruakaka Beach for what is potentially our first ever District Champs Competition. Whangarei Heads VSLSP has traditionally focused on lifesaving activites, and with our membership now at our highest ever, we can start expanding into competition activity. Our competing has been helped along with the inclusion of the new surf canoe, which gives us the ability to compete as a team.

Day 1 of competing was the day which had the most action, with members competing in sprints, flags, surf swim and the short course canoe. Congratulations to the following members who showed up to compete:- Logan Ferguson-Rudolph, Evan Oxborrow, Joel Oxborrow, Ryan Oxborrow, Wayne Mawson, Chris Palmer, Lindsay Hill, Luke Morgan, Te Piha Niha, Ryan Baker, Tayga Bell-Harris & Hayden Conmee.

The short course canoe was what most of our competitors had turned up to compete in, and it turned out to be the most entertaining of any of the events. A big thanks needs to go to the arena officials, who gave the crew some great last minute pointers, and advice on the rules of wearing non-matching speedos! The canoe has now been unofficially renamed "Snake" aptly titled due to the course the crews took on their paddle around the can. Our lack of practice paddling the canoe was obvious, as was our lack of practice working together in our particular teams. On their first paddle, the open mens crew, consisting of Evan, Chris, Lindsay & Wayne had a fantastic start from the beach, and were in the lead right until their undertook their first "snake" and proceeded to paddle at right angles to everyone else. This was corrected, but turned into a "snake" in the opposite direction. Needless to say the crew came last, but considering we would have paddled twice the distance of everyone else, it is only a fair placing. Once we have our steering sorted, we could be a real force to compete against in future competitions! The U19 mens crews did slightly better, at least with their steering. One of the crews even managed to keep the canoe straight the entire length of the course. The highlight had to be when the open crew ended up doing a 360 in their return leg to the beach, to the consternation of all on board, and to the amusement of everyone on the beach.

The biggest congratulations for the weekend need to go to Chris Palmer, who was our sole competitor in the "Masters" category, but he even managed to come away with a bronze medal in the beach sprints. Hopefully this will be the first of many medals to be earned by our club.

Some of the action shots are attached, with hopefully more to come in.

Congratulations again to all the competitors.

Far North Surf Rescue - Whangarei Heads Visit

Far North Surf Rescue are the Northern most of all of the lifesaving clubs throughout New Zealand, and currently have one of the smallest, if not the smallest memberships. It is a dedicated crew of lifeguards that provide the lifeguard service at Ahipara Beach. The commitment required from these people is far more than that required from a member of a larger club.

Over the holiday period, a crew from Whangarei Heads travelled to the Far North to help them meet their patrolling requirements. As part of this trip, a reciprocal offer was made for a crew to come to Whangarei Heads and experience patrolling Whangarei style. Our aim was to show the Far North crew a good time, and hopefully teach them some additional skills which could be put into practice on their beach when they resume patrolling.

The weekend consisted of a number of activites, which included surf swims, rock entries & exits, rock jumps, and a full scale first aid and lifesaving scenario. It was impressive to see all of the Far North guards getting stuck right in, and giving absolutely everything a go. The weather wasn't ideal, but fortunately there was at least a small swell running, which gave us some surf to train in.

The lifesaving scenario was designed to demonstrate the number of things that can go wrong on the beach, with multiple rescues happening at the same time. The first "rescue" was two people swimming in "shark alley" who had raised their hands. While this was in progress, two more swimmers were spotted North of the flagged area caught in the rip. Then, a distraught "father" reported a missing child, last seen in the sand dunes. This scenario meant a range of skills had to be used, and every patrol member played a part in the scenario. "ScenarioCom" was handled by Sue Howes, who used some tactful questioning to help direct the responses that SurfCom would usually have required. All of the guards invovled handled themselves brilliantly, and all "patients" were returned safetly to shore.

The First Aid scenario was run just after sunset on Saturday night, and involved multiple patients in various stages of injury requiring treatment. There were 4 patients in total, one with serious facial and hand injuries following a fall, one with shards of glass in her neck & hand, another with a gushing open fracture in his arm, with a panicked person running around making a general nuisance of herself. The lifeguards wasted no time at all in getting involved in the scenario, and all patients quickly had people treating their injuries and assessing their vitals. Congratulations needs to go to Sheree for her patient treatment, which was absolutely excellent, similar to what would have been expected from a guard that had been qualified for years! Thanks to Andy Kent @ SLSNR who provided the blood kit to improve the realism of the scenario.

The highlight of the weekend for me was watching the Far North crew jumping off "Jump rock" and jumping into the "blowhole" without hesitation, and always with huge smiles on their faces afterwards. Apologies for the quality of the jumprock photos, it was quite difficult to aim the camera while getting knocked around in the swell.

Thanks to Sheree for bringing her crew down, and thanks to all the Far North people for joining us in the weekends activities. Thanks also to the Whangarei Heads guards who helped organise the weekend, and participated in the activites. Sue Howes did a fantastic job as always organising the food, which meant everyone was well fed.

SLSNZ National Jandal Day - Friday 7th December 2007

On the 7th of December 2007, SLSNZ held its unaugural "National Jandal Day". SLSNZ is developing the “National Jandal Day” as the major fundraising event for Surf Life Saving. It is aimed at becoming an annual event that marks the start of our Kiwi holidays and encourages everyone to show their support for the volunteers that patrol our beaches over summer by making a donation and wearing Jandals for the day. The Jandal adorns the feet of more than 80% of New Zealander’s during the Kiwi summer months, is seen by over 70% of New Zealander’s as a Kiwi icon, and last year celebrated its 50th birthday.

As part of our commitment to supporting this National Fundraising Drive, Rebecca Slade, our Club Jandal Day Co-ordinator organised a small army of volunteers to collect around the Central Whangarei area. This involved standing on street corners, in malls, outside shops, wearing the familiar lifeguard uniform or trendy yellow vest, holding a bucket and exchanging stickers for donations from members of the public. This job would have been hard enough, without adding in the atrocious weather that Whangarei experienced that day. The team of volunteers that gave up some of their day on our first ever Jandal Day did a fantastic job, and the club, and the region thank them wholeheartedly for their efforts. Without their commitment the success of this day would have been greatly reduced. Thanks to the following people for donating their time:-

Laura Parker, Hayden Conmee, Matthew Sullivan, Jessica Robinson, Rob Howes, Sue Howes, Nicky Howes, Harriet Bidois, Anischka Walmsley, Chelsea Dovey, Lisa Neha, Kelsey Farmer, Tessa Sinclair, Katie Were, Amie Were, Brydei Coloquen, Kayla Patterson & Lana Chisnall.

A huge thanks goes to Rebecca Slade for being our club co-ordinator. Whangarei Heads had the 4th largest group of volunteers collecting, which is a massive effort considering we are one of the smallest clubs. Having such a large number of volunteers means we will benefit greatly from the funds collected. Rebecca even featured on the front page of the Advocate as part of her efforts. Good work Rebecca!

Here are some of the comments collected from around the Region from members of the public:-




The challenge for the second National Jandal Day will be to increase our number of collectors, and get out there on the street to make a bigger impression on the members of the public. If Jandal Day continues to succeed, the quality of lifesaving services we are able to provide will be greatly improved.

Thanks again to everyone who was involved. If you want to see some photos of the Auckland collectors, follow this link http://www.topicphoto.co.nz/jandal/


Club Champs
06 January 2008


Event Senior Men Senior Women Junior Men Junior Women
Beach Sprints Lindsay Nicky Te Piha Anischka
Beach Flags Lindsay Nicky Joel Oxborrow Anischka
Run/Swim/Run Lindsay Nicky Joel Oxborrow Anischka
Board Race Tom DNA Joel Oxborrow DNA
Overall Winner Lindsay Nicky Joel Oxborrow Anischka

Junior Women winner would have been Minnie, however as an unqualified guard she was not eligible to take the placing.

Fire Patrol vs Wind Patrol - Beach Relay

Winner = Fire Patrol

The competition this year was heated up, with our largest number of competitors in recent seasons turning up to compete.  Congratulations to the following people who turned up on the day to give it a go:-

Senior Men - Lindsay, Chris, Evan, Tom, Patrick, Julian, Kris,
Senior Women – Nicky
Junior Men – Joel, Ryan, Hamish, Hayden, Te Piha, Matt King, Martin,
Junior Women – Anischka, Ellie, Natalie, Minnie

Big thanks need to go to the crew of officials who set the arenas, recorded placings, managed the unruly competitors and got the BBQ fired up to feed the hungry guards.  This event would not take place without the dedication of these people, so thanks again for your time:- Donna, Jim, Sue, Max & Gail, Allison, Chelsea & Abe.

The challenge is now on to get more guards turning up to compete next season.  The events are more fun, and more challenging with more people turning up, and as you can see from the photos, you don’t need to be an elite athlete, and while speedos are definitely the most appropriate competing attire, they aren’t compulsory!  The ego of the incumbent Club Captain is highly inflated after his win of the senior mens this year, so it’d be good to see him knocked down a peg or two next season.

Congratulations to all the competitors.  We’ll hopefully see a few of you at the District Champs @ Ruakaka in February.


SLSNR Trillian Trust District Championships

To be held at Ruakaka Beach, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th February 2008.

Event list as per the attached.

If anyone wants to enter, email Lindsay on lindsay.hill@nzf.co.nz advising which events you want to compete in.

I'm going to enter, just for a bit of fun, rather than in the intention of actually winning, and would encourage any other members to give it a go as well.



2008 SLSNR Trillian Trust District Champs_Event List v3.doc

Whangarei Heads – Surf Canoe
15 January 2008

Whangarei Heads VSLSP new Surf Canoe comes courtesy of the Ruakaka SLSP and North Tec – Boat Building. Ruakaka had previously owned this canoe after having it handed down to them from Red Beach and a team from the club won Silver at a district competition after only ever being in a canoe 3 times. Sadly the canoe got run down in recent years, and was replaced by newer equipment. Ruakaka kindly donated the surplus (and run down) canoe to Whangarei Heads to try to extend it’s life.

This is where the North Tec Boat Building team came to the party, and offered to repair the canoe, and bring it back up to a competition standard. As you will see from the photos, the team have done a very professional job, creating a sleek racing machine. The finished product was the result of many days/months work, and the personal touch can definitely be seen.

Not only did they do such a fantastic job on the canoe, but they also supplied a cradle to store the canoe on. This cradle now doubles as a transport cradle, as we use our unique way getting the canoe to the beach. Access to the beach with a conventional trailer would be near impossible, so combining the cradle with the Argo creates a convenient way of transporting the canoe to the beach. With the canoe being so lightweight, lifting it into place is a relatively simple process.

This canoe is going to give the club members of all ages a chance to develop their competition skills, and take the canoe away to compete with the other larger clubs around the region, and even the country. If Ruakaka’s previous example is anything to go by, then Whangarei Heads could be coming away with medals in a very short time.

The Whangarei Heads Volunteer Surf Life Saving Patrol membership would like to acknowledge the support of North Tec – Boat Building for their efforts in turning the surf canoe into a useable piece of equipment. This has been a sizeable contribution to club operations, and one that will create fantastic camaraderie between club members in years to come. It is hard to adequately express how grateful the club is for the assistance offered by other organisations, so hopefully this article, along with the attached photos comes part of the way to expressing our gratitude.

Thanks also needs to go to Jim Bidois and Matt Fleet who followed the repair process through and are always around to lend a hand to load the canoe onto the Argo to get it down to the beach.

Training/Refresher Weekend
21/22 October 2007

Well, our inaugural annual training/refresher weekend has now come and gone, and it went even better than we could have hoped. We had a great turnout, great food, and great time of instructors. We even managed to make it through the weekend without seriously hurting anyone!! Bonus.

Thanks have to go out to the ladies in the kitchen, who did a fantastic job of ensuring everyone was kept fuelled so that we could all make it through the days activities. They also did a fantastic job of controlling the flow of people through the kitchen, and ensured that the dishes were washed up at the end of each meal. Big thanks to Sue B, Sue H and Donna, and anyone else who put some kitchen time in.

The next big thanks goes to the instructors, who not only had to survive the weekend, also had to plan and structure the entire weekend before hand, and ensure it all ran smoothly. Tom, Nicky & James are setting a great example for the younger club members by showing how far lifesaving can take you if you’re willing to put a bit of effort in. Rob was as usual brilliant with transferring some of his extensive lifesaving knowledge to the younger members. Thanks also needs to go to Tasha Harvey who kindly lent us some programme ideas from the training camp run at Bethells Beach.

The final thanks goes to everyone who turned up for the weekend. You all gave it 100% and impressed the instructors with how well you managed. The list of people who made it (to as close as I can remember) is:- Ellie, Reuben, Joel O, Leo, Neville, Matt, Jess, Georgina, Ryan B, Hayden, Hamish, Anischka, Lani, Finn, Eden, Lena, Matthew K, James, Te Piha, Martin, Jamie, Tayga, Luke, Ryan O, Joel M

A copy of the weekend programme is attached, and here’s a brief (ish) rundown of how it all went………

Saturday morning kicked off with a brief introduction, and explanation of rules/expectations for the weekend. This is also the point where everyone was assigned their tube for the weekend, names were selected, and stories told about their tube “relationship”. Tubes were required to be kept with each participant at all times. Failure to do so resulted in punishment in the form of press-ups. This was immediately followed by a round of icebreaker activities. Nothing ensures that everyone has a very “close” relationship at the start of the weekend than a quick round of the reducing square, and the human knot.

This was followed immediately by the first of the great meals, which led into the first theory session which covered off some basic first aid, to ensure that we all are capable of treating some of the minor ailments that we see at the beach on a regular basis.

On to the beach in the afternoon, where everyone braved the howling offshore, and frigid water, to get some scanning training, followed by a run/swim/run, tube rescue, and rock entry/exit training. The purpose of this was to make sure everyone was comfortable in and around rocks, and that they are confident doing tube rescues. Only one injury during the rock activity (sorry Jamie) which is a pretty good result!!

Once everyone had staved off the onset of mild hypothermia, it was back into another theory session, where the acting skills of Tom, Anischka, Nicky & Lindsay got put to good use imitating some of the potential scenarios we could run into on the beach. Anischka & Nicky did a great job imitating foreigners, possibly too good a job!!

After dinner, it was back into the classroom for a quick run through on potential lifesaving career paths, followed by a briefing on searches, and the helicopter landing kit. Everyone was pretty much falling asleep in their chairs at this point, so it was outside to have rousing game of Kiwi. The champions of the night were Ryan O, Nicky & Lindsay, although Te Piha’s blindfolded commando rolls in the middle of the game had to be the highlight.

Day 2 kicked off with a gruelling 7am run to the lighthouse. Matthew Sullivan led the way the entire way up, closely followed by the slightly older two in the group (Chris & Lindsay) who caned the rest of the young ones up the hill. Needless to say everyone was pretty ruined by the time they made it to the top, but the downhill run was loads easier.

Breakfast back at the club was much more rewarding after dragging ourselves through the punishment of the run, and it was good to see everyone completing their refresher theory paper with ease. Nicky then took everyone through their paces with CPR, which also completed this component of the lifeguard award refresher.

After lunch and a short break, it was time to kick off the afternoons carnage, with full on scenarios planned to test the skills that everyone had learnt during the course of the weekend. The group was split into two teams, and were instructed to elect a Patrol Captain for the duration of the scenarios. There were two initial scenarios running simultaneously with one team attending to each.

Scenario 1 was medical related, and had multiple victims. The group had been drinking on the beach, one had gone swimming (and was very drunk) and was semi-conscious and cold, another had a bee sting (and was allergic), the last victim had a heart attack from the stress of the situation. Compounding the treatment was a drunk friend who kept getting in the way of the lifeguards. (Big thanks to Sue H, Ellie, Harriet & Donna for their acting skills).

Scenario 2 was trauma related, again with multiple victims. It was a logging day gone wrong, which resulted in one victim with a large gushing wound to his upper thigh (along with other injuries), another victim with multiple injuries, and two distressed children. This scenario was particularly difficult due to the prodigious use of blood and fake injuries which really made the lifeguards utilise every skill they had. (Actors in this scenario were Rob, Nicky, Eden & Jesse)

Both teams did great jobs managing each scenario, to the point where none of the patients “died”!! Great work!

Scenario 3 was the final culmination of the entire weekend. Chris was assigned as PC (little did he know the job this was going to be!!) to oversee the entire operation. This was a 3 stage lifesaving scenario. The lifeguards were first alerted to a patient hanging onto the North rocks, who when the arrived was found to have been a victim of a shark attack. While this rescue was occurring, a mother approached the patrol to inform of her missing children. This meant a search had to be instigated simultaneously with the first rescue. To compound matters further, there were then two further patients at the south end of the beach caught in a rip who had to be rescued.

The shark attack victim and friend were rescued quickly and efficiently by the IRB crew, who then went to assist the tube swimmers who had secured the patients at the South end of the beach. While this was going on two teams were searching the beach for the missing children, who were found alive and well playing in the sand dunes.

This was a particularly intense scenario, with numerous situations happening at once. While it is something that may not occur for a long time at our beach, it is good to know that we are at least in some way prepared. Congratulations to everyone who took part in this and did such a great job.

Everyone who attended this weekend, whether they be participants or instructors, should be extremely proud of the effort they put in. There was barely a whisper of complaint the entire weekend, even when press-up punishment was being assigned. Everyone got stuck in, and hopefully got the maximum amount of benefit from the weekend. Thanks again to everyone who helped out, and we look forward to being able to utilise some of the participants from this years training to help instruct next year.


Club Captain

Club Spring Clean - September 2007
Well, what has been an annual event in the past was continued again this year, with the club getting it's annual spring clean prior to the start of the season.

This is a very important event on the surfclub calendar, because without this highly important maintenance, the club would not be a pleasant place to be using during the summer months. The efforts the guards go to keep the club in a semi habitable state during the season aren't bad, but unfortunately grime builds up in places that just aren't easy to get to, until we get a chance to really give the place a good scrubbing.

This is one of those jobs that would be extremely difficult if only one or two people turned up, but thankfully we had a fairly good crowd this year, so the job was over and done with in a matter of hours. Huge thanks to the following who showed up, and who are now exempt from toilet cleaning duty during the season!!

Sue, Jim Harriet, Georgina, Gail, Max, Joel, Ryan, Wayne, Lena, Leo, Jenny, Eden, Donna, Matt & Lindsay (apologies if I missed off anyones name).

Thanks to the Bidois for providing the collection of photographs, and contrary from what you seen in some of the photos, this day was not all fun and games. Amazing though how some can have such fun from a day of cleaning.

The club is now in a fairly decent state for the start of the season, to the point where we at least shouldn't catch anything from touching any of the surfaces. It is still going to need a fair amount of ongoing work as the season progresses, but I am confident that you will all pull your weight, and make sure that the club stays a respectable and inviting environment to be in.

Good effort to the team who managed to push the IRB back from the beach after the ARGO left for it's annual maintenance.

SLSNR 2007 Awards of Excellence
The 2007 SLSNR Awards of Excellence was held at the ASB Lounge, Eden Park on the 16th June 2007.  This event boasted the largest turnout of people, and also had a representative from every single club in Northern Region, something which has never before been achieved.
Whangarei Heads had a fairly large contingent this year, but unfortunately both of our two tables were put at opposite ends of the room.  Somehow I have the feeling that the organisers decided to deliberately split us up to helpfully minimise some of the noise which was generated the previous year.  Unfortunately for them we were as still as loud as ever, but this time from two ends of the room, so with luck we'll all be sitting together at the next awards.
This event is a formal event, and is the highlight to the surf year.  A number of awards are presented, and everyone just has a fantastic time socialising and catching up with friends from other clubs.  This year we had a number of members selected as finalists in their individual categories as follows:-
Service Award - Rod Boswell
Under 19 Lifeguard of the Year - Rebecca Slade
Rookie of the Year - Luke Morgan
Under 14 Sportsman of the Year - Luke Morgan
Surf Lifeguard of the Year - Lindsay Hill
Out of the 5 nominations we received, we came away with three awards, which just shows how well our small club does.  The awards we gained were:-
Service Award - Rod Boswell
Rookie of the Year - Luke Morgan
Surf Lifeguard of the Year - Lindsay Hill
All of these are very prestigious awards, and our members should be proud of receiving them.
Another highlight of the night, was the presentation of the Best Patrolled Beach.  The best patrolled beach award is given to the club that has the best overall score as a result of the Patrol Audits held throughout the season.  Whangarei Heads managed to beat some other very skilled and well resourced clubs to take this award, and received a cheque for $3,000 for their efforts.  This is a direct result of us doing our job on the beach properly, and within the guidelines of our Patrol Operations Manual.  Congratulations to all patrolling members for this fantastic achievement. 
The challenge is now on to see if we can do better next season.  Congratulations again to all club members and award recipients.


Club Captain


Paid Employment Opportunities
Every season, a number of paid employment opportunities are offered by SLSNR. These include Regional Lifeguards, Beach Ed Instructors, Patrol Auditors & Surfcom Operators. Should you be interested in applying for any of these roles then get in touch with the Club Captain who will help you work through the application process. All the relevant information is contained within the attached documents. You can also get more information from www.lifesaving.org.nz
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