Enthusiasm is running high for the Red Beach Surf Life Saving Club and its lifeguard members with the approach of the summer season.
The club is counting down to the mid-November opening of its redeveloped clubrooms, a project which has been at the top of its agenda for some time. Construction work has taken place in stages, simply because of the associated costs to transform the beachfront headquarters. The re-opening will bring the project close to full completion.
When the patrolling season gets into full stride, the club will have 25 newly-qualified lifeguards. They obtained their Surf Lifeguard awards last month and will get to carry out volunteer patrols at Red Beach and Pakiri over summer.
The club’s IRB ranks are also on a strong footing with eight lifeguards recently qualifying as drivers of the powered craft and 15 obtaining their crewman qualifications. The club also has two new instructors – one for IRBs and the other for surf lifeguard awards.
The club has come through the winter months with some successful fundraising events under its belt. Funds raised will go towards new equipment, coaching and the redevelopment project.
Two consecutive Sundays were set aside last month for Junior Surf registrations and this resulted in a healthy intake of youngsters, aged 4-13 years. The club is still taking registrations and the junior opening day will be held on Sunday October 28.
As a goodwill gesture, Red Beach has gifted 20 training boards to the Mangawhai Heads Club, which doubled its junior membership.
“The boards were no longer in use at Red Beach so we were perfectly placed to help Mangawhai out,” club coach Jack Gavin says.
On the competition scene, activity is ramping up. The club recently participated in the regional and national pool rescue championships, and it staged its annual Pub to Club event which saw club members paddle on skis, boards and in surf canoes down the Puhoi River for the 16km journey across the ocean to Red Beach. Club athletes also recently competed in the season-opening Long Distance Carnival at Mairangi Bay.
Red Beach will host a canoe training day for Northern Region canoe paddlers on October 27 before heading off to two Northern Region surf carnivals at Waipu Cove and Muriwai in November.