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Change of direction for local lifesavers

Mar 9th, 2011 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


Lyall Bay surf club juniors get some last-minute practise before the nationals.

A LATE change in venue means a different approach for the Lyall Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, competing at the national championships this weekend.

Up until last week, the 38-strong team was expecting the choppy waves and cold water of New Brighton Beach in Christchurch, but the recent earthquake forced organisers to move the four-day event north to Mt Maunganui.


The late move should not create many logistical problems, as national and international carnivals have been staged there over the past fortnight.

Lyall Bay team members that have competed in those events get the chance to show off their experience in the heavier waves.

“There’s shore dumps [waves that break on shore], different peaks and the waves are more powerful. You gotta change tactics,” says Tyler Maxwell, a member of the U19 team.

With several New Zealand development squad and age group representatives in the club’s ranks, head coach Walter Maxwell is looking for constant improvement from his charges as they gain experience at national level.

“The guys in our U19 team have been with us since they were eight years old, and we’ve got some really strong swimmers,” he says.

Natasha Hind represented New Zealand in the women’s relay at the Beijing Olympics, and Samantha Lee is the national women’s short course record holder over 100m in butterfly.

The nationals attract nearly 1500 competitors and thousands more spectators, and will cap off a busy period for the club.

A contingent went to Turkey in January last year as part of an historic Anzac project to establish a surf life saving movement there.

Fine weather has meant a busy summer, with regular patrols needed to keep the beach safe.

There is also fundraising needed after approval was granted for a $2 million upgrade to the Lyall Bay headquarters.


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