A last minute decision to compete in the Bay of Plenty Inflatable Rescue Boat long haul race was a success for three Otamatea High School students who took away a second placing.
The competition which ran from Ohope to Mount Maunganui on May 6, covered 95km of coastline with four beach stops along the way.
The Otamatea High School students:
Quintin Brown 15, Bailey Hudson 16, and Tyler Flannagan 15, are also lifeguards at Waipu Cove and made up the three strong team competing against 13 other teams and IRBs.
Quentin’s mother, Teresa Brown, said the boys only decided to compete three weeks before the event to “have a go.”
“The boys were in the U21 category and there were four crews competing. They were the youngest crew overall and came second in their grade and seventh overall.
“All the parents are extremely proud and we may have shed a tear or two,” said Teresa.
The IRBs were required to stop at Matata, Pukehina, Papamoa and Omanu beaches to complete a series of crew challenges such as assembling and breaking down their equipment and performing rescues.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eastern Region sport manager Mark Inglis says the format was changed to a stage race last year to allow for closer competition.
“The event is designed to test surf lifeguards’ ability to respond to a callout or rescue and often it’s only seconds separating the crews when they hit the beach to start each of the challenges.”