Club Captains Report
Whangarei Heads VSLSP wins Surf Life Saving Northern Region's
Rescue of the Month for April.
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
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
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
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
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:-
"YOU GUYS DO A
"I THINK SLS IS A FANTASTIC ORGANISATION!"
"I WOULDN'T BE HERE IF IT WASN'T FOR YOU GUYS - YOU SAVED MY
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
06 January 2008
Junior Women winner would have been
Minnie, however as an unqualified guard she was not eligible to take
Fire Patrol vs Wind Patrol - Beach
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
firstname.lastname@example.org advising which events you want to
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Under 14 Sportsman of the Year
- Luke Morgan
Surf Lifeguard of the Year -
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
Rookie of the Year -
Surf Lifeguard of the Year -
All of these are very
prestigious awards, and our members should be proud of
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
The challenge is now on to see
if we can do better next season. Congratulations again to
all club members and award recipients.
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