Pool Championships a family affair

Posted by Matt Warren on Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Brothers Andy and Steve Kent made this year's State New Zealand Pool Champs a family affair by competing together with their cousins Danny and Martyn McDowell.

The four athletes, who all belong to the Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club, raced together in three events at Surf Life Saving New Zealand's first national event for the season.

As the single largest pool competition in the country and the national champs for pool rescue events it featured events ranging from manikin carries and obstacles to line throw and rescue medleys.

The four boys came in fifth in the Open Men's 4x25 metre Manikin Relay, which was won by Piha.

They also competed separately with Steve Kent winning the Open men's 100 metre manikin tow with fins, the Open Men's 50 metre manikin carry without fins, the Open Men's 100 metre manikin carry with fins, the Open Men's 100 metre rescue medley, the Open Men's 200 metre swim with obstacles and the Open Men's 200 metre super lifesaver. He also came second in the Open Men's 50 metre swim with fins.

Steve represented New Zealand at the London Olympics and is part of the New Zealand team taking on the Aussies at the World Championships in Adelaide next month.

Brothers Martyn and Danny also raced in the Open men's 100m manikin tow with Martyn coming 9th and Danny coming in 11th.  Together they came 9th in the 2x50 metre line throw relay.

Separately Martyn came 22nd in the Open Men's 50 metre swim with fins and 13th in the Open Men's 100 metre manikin carry with fins. Danny came 16th in the Open Men's 50 metre manikin carry without fins.

Andy came 15th in the Open Men's 100 metre manikin tow with fins, 18th in the Open Men's 100 metre manikin carry with fins and 24th in the Open Men's 50 metre swim with fins.

Andy says there is always a bit of friendly competition between them. Surf life saving has been in the family for years. His cousin on the other side of the family, Kevin Morrison, is also in the New Zealand team heading to the World Lifesaving Champs in November with Steve.

He says it's great fun competing with family and they often have friendly banter between them. "Whenever there are surf carnivals it's like a family reunion. We always enjoy it," he says.

Now in its 10th year, the competition has gone from strength to strength and has the reputation of close exciting racing.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand is excited to see the continual growth and interest in the Pool Championships at both a National and Regional level.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Event Manager Scott Roberts says the pool champs is a good, fun event with a great dynamic which is why people continue to come each year. "It's the first national event of the season and it's a perfect way to kick it off," he says.

The State New Zealand Pool Championships was held at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie from October 5-7.

Visit sport.surflifesaving.org.nz/nzpoolchamps for more information and a full list of results.

Kent McDowell familyDanny McDowell, Steven Kent, Andy Kent and Marty McDowell. Photo: Jamie Nilsson

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