Papamoa's Maia Bryant narrowly missed a notable double on the
first day of the Oceans 13 New Zealand under-14 surf lifesaving
championships in Mount Maunganui today.
The 14-year-old, in the last year of a dazzling Oceans career,
won the beach flags title in her agegroup, heading home Red Beach's
Chelsea Grant and Jessica Tarrant (East End).
Bryant, who has already been competing in senior events this
season but still qualifies for Oceans with a lucky birthday, then
transferred her prowess to the water, only beaten by a sprint from
Orewa's Ella Drinnan in the under-14 run-swim-run final.
Another Papamoa competitor, Malia Josephson, was third.
The annual championship has attracted nearly 800 athletes from
40 clubs all over New Zealand and the opening day produced plenty
of action on a hot Mount Main Beach day, with a solid 1.5m swell
rising in the afternoon as the board race heats and run-swim-run
finals were held.
Orewa's other gold medalist was Lucy Makaea in the under-12
beach flags, although the North Shore club consistently picked up
points to end the day with a narrow lead over Omanu. Orewa
finished the first of four days on 12 points, with Omanu on 11 and
Mairangi Bay on 10. Mount Maunganui, Red Beach and Papamoa
are all within striking distance.
With the swell expected to peak tomorrow, organisers have a big
schedule of events to get through, beginning with the board rescue
and diamond race heats and finishing with sprint heats and beach