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Gisborne Surf Club battle heats up

BATTLE IS ON: Waikanae and Midway surf lifesaving clubs went head to head today in Ralph Morse Shield competition for local club supremacy for this summer, and with only 36 points between them at the start of the day the battle was on. Midway’s Alex Bermingham and Emily Willock are pictured in the open women’s ski event this morning. Picture by Paul Rickard
TITLE ON LINE: The battle for Gisborne surf club competition supremacy heated up today at Waikanae Beach as the host club looked to secure a seventh straight Ralph Morse Shield victory. Picture by Paul Rickard
RIGHT PICTURE: This is the photograph that should have accompanied the names of Edan Wilson and Riley Ingoe from Waikanae in the under-19 double ski at Thursday night’s opening round of the local championships. The Waikanae women pictured on the back page last night were Christy and Kendra Tate. See correction, page 25. Picture by Paul Rickard

Waikanae led Midway by 36 points coming into the final day of this year’s Ralph Morse Shield contest for local surf lifesaving supremacy.

Waikanae entered today’s full day of competition hunting a seventh straight Shield win.

After the second of two twilight carnivals ended last night at Midway Beach, Kaiaponi Farms Waikanae had amassed 200 points, Dawson Building Midway 164 and Riversun Wainui four.

Waikanae had been about 20 points in front after Thursday night’s opening round of the championships.

The new sand track alongside Stanley Road got a workout for the first time last night.

Waikanae athletes won six of the eight beach sprint titles. Among them, Oska Smith won both the open and under-17 divisions, and Briana Irving won the u19 and open women’s events.

Waikanae runners took out five of the six beach relays.

The action then switched to the water and the board and tube rescue races.

The choppy, messy one-metre surf made for testing competition.

A highlight in the board rescue races was the clear, all-the-way win to Waikanae’s Jack Keepa and Lachie Falloon in the u19 men’s final. They also won the open men’s final.

Midway and Waikanae shared the honours in the board rescue races, taking three titles each.

Midway demonstrated their strength in the younger age group, scoring all three top placings in the u17 event.

Wainui picked up some points with a second placing to Hue Cowie and Jonty Evans in the u19 board rescue.

The evening ended with the tube rescues and again the titles were shared three apiece between Midway and Waikanae.

Points for the championship were nicely poised when competition resumed today. A full day of racing promised plenty of interest and the possibility of a close finish to the championship tussle this afternoon.

Waikanae looked odds-on to secure another Shield win, but Midway were sure to make them work hard for it.

Results over the past two days indicate that the points gap between the traditional city rivals has closed considerably.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Gisborne iron athletes Cory Taylor and Olivia Corrin produced solid performances in Round 1 of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series at North Bondi Beach in Sydney yesterday.

Taylor finished seventh out of the 20 athletes in the men’s event to earn 14 points in the competition.

Corrin produced her best result in the series to date with a highly creditable 11th-place finish out of 20 competitors to earn 10 points.

Bondi Beach turned on perfect racing conditions for the opening round. A three-to-four-foot swell provided plenty of thrills and spills.

The second and third rounds of the series were to be held at North Bondi today and tomorrow, with live coverage on Sky.