East End stalwart Andrew Cronin came close to creating
history at the BP Surf Rescue New Zealand IRB championships at
Waipu Cove today, instead settling for a nonetheless impressive
Cronin and crewman James Morwood won all four finals in the premier division, sealing the assembly rescue and single rescue on a choppy last day at the Northland beach, but were beaten into fourth in the open teams final alongside clubmates Geoff Cronin and Campbell Begg.
That was still good enough to help the Taranaki club to a record fifth consecutive overall title, finishing on 80 points, nine clear of St Clair.
"We were pretty happy to get the four premier titles and it would've been nice to pick up the teams race as well but you've always got to have something to strive for," Cronin, who also clean-swept the premier division two years ago, said. "We're probably not as sharp as we would've liked to have been this year but we're still pretty happy to come away with the right results. This is the closest it's been overall for the last couple of years - we're missing five crews who raced for us last year and it's tightened things up but a big effort by our young guys got us over the line."
St Clair's performance was anchored by sisters Carla and Steph Laughton - who again swept their division and made the semifinals of the teams race - but the South Islanders were abetted by quality finishes from the two other women's crews, a strong senior display and a rising tide of under-21 crews.
"Last year we were developing as a club and we got third overall, which we were stoked with, and this year we've come through with pretty much the same crews," Carla Laughton said. "We've been teaching them to race their race and not worry about other teams - concentrate on the small things and getting them right."
The siblings were helped when the assembly rescue final
had to be re-run - Sumner's Megan Keats and Sarah Truscott had
turned in a blinder in the first attempt - but it capped a
magnificent season for the Dunedin pair who started with world
championships success in Adelaide in November.
"We got in the boat in August and I'm pretty stoked it's the end of the season - I can't wait for winter!"
Waimarama's win in the open teams race was a first for the Hawke's Bay club and was also something of a family affair, with brothers Jason and Rhys Harman involved, along with Ben Cross and his sister, patient Leila Cross. The victory was still a surprise, after injury took out oldest sibling Mike Harman on Friday.
"We lost Mike in the first final of the weekend so it's pretty satisfying to stay involved in the teams race and even sweeter to win it," premier crewman Ben Cross said. "This is the first time Waimarama have won it - we've nailed it at the North Islands before but winning at nationals is a really good feeling. The young guys really pulled through."
Elsewhere, Papamoa twins Kirby and Chad Wheeler collected
the under-21 overall title with victories in the mass and assembly
rescue finals, while rookie Papamoa premier crew Troy Walsh and
Mitch Brady finished third in their division. With seniors
Tom Berthelsen and Liam Smith winning the mass rescue, the Bay of
Plenty club finished third overall on 43 points, ahead of Sumner
Paekakariki were fifth, boasting the top senior crew overall of Tyler Mills and Dwight Garton.
Results from the final day of the BP Surf Rescue New Zealand IRB championships at Waipu Cove today:
Premier. East End Black (Andrew Cronin/James Morwood/Rebecca Busing) 1, Sumner (Steven Parrat/George Thomas/Jonty Holmes) 2, Papamoa (Mitchel Brady/Troy Walsh/Hayley Elmsly) 3, East End Red (Campbell Begg/Geoffrey Cronin/Sinead Malley) 4, Waimarama (Timothy Cox/Jason Harman/Zoe Nilsson) 5, Muriwai (Andrew Lancaster/Stephen Butt/Jessica Polo) 6.
Senior. Paekakariki Gold (Tyler Mills/Dwight Garton/Amy Spiekerman) 1, East End Black (Kim Danz/Scott Nelson/Lisa Cox) 2, St Clair Black (Michael Crombie/Isaac Davies/Samuel Riddell) 3, North Beach Black (Hayden Andrews/Matthew Aplin/Bailey Pouaka) 4, North Beach White (Bradley Freeman/Peter Taylor/Sarah Russell) 5, East End Red (Daniel Charteris/Jared Gray/Sharnee Corbett-Wyatt) 6.
U21. East End Red (Joe Bracegirdle/Liam Cole/Sharnee Corbett-Wyatt) 1, Sunset Beach (Hogan Shrimpton/Lewis Powell/Robbie Shrimpton) 2, St Clair Black (Niam Chronican/Scott Fraser/Gabrielle Scott) 3, East End Black (Jack Anderson/Jakob Kelly/Christopher Kelly) 4, Kaka Point (Hayden Gold/Luke Kuiti/Matthew Kuiti) 5.
Women. St Clair Black Laughton/Stephanie Laughton/Natasha Scott) 1, St Clair White (Emma Johns/Emily Jones/Nelson Mears) 2, North Beach (Hallie Freeman/Jess Mather/Sarah Russell) 3, Sumner (Megan Keats/Sarah Truscott/Robert Sies) 4, United North Piha Gold (Grace Joseph/Katherine Reardon/Tamsin Reilly) 5, Sunset Beach (Mal McGuire/Alana Ibbs/Samantha Coughlan) 6.
Premier. East End Black (Andrew Cronin/James Morwood/Rebecca Busing) 1, Sumner (Steven Parrat/George Thomas/Jonty Holmes) 2, Muriwai (David Butt/Brent Matuschka/Hannah Gibson) 3, New Plymouth Old Bays (Jared Coster/Sean Zieltjes/Bridget Billing) 4, Paekakariki (Mitchell Logan/Richard Whinham/James McCarthy) 5, St Kilda (Nicholas Harwood/Justin Reid/Madeline Marshall-McNabb) 6.
Senior. North Beach Black (Hayden Andrews/Matthew Aplin/Bailey Pouaka) 1, Paekakariki Gold (Tyler Mills/Dwight Garton/Amy Spiekerman) 2, East End Black (Kim Danz/Scott Nelson/Lisa Cox) 3, United North Piha Gold (Leif Neilson/Miles Regal/Simone Hollier) 4, St Clair Black (Michael Crombie/Isaac Davies/Samuel Riddell) 5.
U21. Papamoa (Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler/Paul Smith) 1, Mairangi Bay (Jake Smith/Luke Smith) 2, Kaka Point (Tyler Ford/Hayden Gold/Matthew Kuiti) 3, Sunset Beach (Hogan Shrimpton/Lewis Powell/Robbie Shrimpton) 4, Waimarama (Luke Harman/Rhys Harman/Aries Moore-Wilson) 5, Taylors Mistake (Liam Brown/Will Fisher/Annie Hygate) 6.
Women. St Clair Black Laughton/Stephanie Laughton/Natasha Scott) 1, St Clair Pink (Kim Martyn/Stephanie Botting/Elle Rolfe) 2, Sumner (Megan Keats/Sarah Truscott/Robert Sies) 3, Taylors Mistake (Molly Bell/Meg Fisher/Zoe Merrick) 4.
Open Teams Race. Waimarama (Timothy Cox/Ben Cross/Jason Harman/Rhys Harman/Leila Cross) 1, Papamoa (Mitchel Brady/Troy Walsh/Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler/Hayley Elmsly) 2, North Beach Black (Hayden Andrews/Matthew Aplin/Bradley Freeman/Peter Taylor/Sarah Russell) 3, East End Black (Campbell Begg/Andrew Cronin/Geoffrey Cronin/James Morwood) 4, Sumner (Luke Keats/Steven Parrat/Derek Shanks/George Thomas/Jonty Holmes) 5, St Kilda (Nicholas Harwood/Michael Kinraid/Sam Kinraid/Justin Reid/Madeline Marshall-McNabb) 6.
Points. East End 80 1, St Clair 71 2, Papamoa 43 3, Sumner 37 4, Paekakariki 29 5, North Beach 28 6, Taylors Mistake 25 7, Sunset Beach 24 8, Waimarama and Mairangi Bay 21 each 9 equal, Muriwai 18 11, St Kilda 13 12, United North Piha 11 13, New Plymouth Old Boys and Kaka Point 8 each 14 equal, Opunake 3 16, Westshore and Fitzroy 2 each 17 equal.
East End's Andrew Cronin (left) and James Morwood on the fly at Waipu Cove. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Journalism.