Tony Baker on point in the Classic Division. Pic: Brian Came
Sam Egginton from Whangarei Heads on his way to winning the Opens. Pic: Peter Lynch
What a spot!
Natt Fitt out of Red Beach jamming the Juniors. Pic: Peter Lynch
Father Rhys Fitt taking the Master. Pic: Brian Came
27 June 19
Clean waves greeted surfers for the 27th Annual Lifeguard Longboard Nationals held at Mangawhai Heads on Saturday 22nd June 2019. It fell on the solstice and hosted surfers from across the Northern Region, and chilly conditions with light winds made for a perfect surfing contest on the shortest day of the year.
The event saw lifeguards past and present from clubs including Omaha, Karekare, Bethells, Red Beach, Waipu Cove, Whangarei Heads and Mangawhai Heads competing in 4 divisions including Junior Mens, Open, Masters and Classic.
Morning conditions were near perfect with clean waves breaking across the high tide with light winds. As the day wore on, conditions deteriorated with the energy being sapped out of the swell with the outgoing tide. However, the event was a huge success and kept the tradition going. Into its 27th year, the event is iconic and one of the longest running surfing events in the country.
Open: 1st Simon Egginton (Whangarei Heads) 2nd Nat Fitt (Red Beach) 3rd Tony Baker (Mangawhai Heads) 4th Jackson Wintle (Mangawhai Heads)
Junior: 1st Nat Fitt (Red Beach) 2nd Billy Whelan (Mangawhai Heads) 3rd Cory Vercoe (Mangawhai Heads) 4th Matt Hughes (Red Beach)
Masters: 1st Rhys Fitt (Red Beach) 2nd Clint Bishop (Karekare) 3rd Paul Browne (Waipu Cove) 4th Vaughan Richards (Mangawhai Heads)
Classic Division: 1st Neil McInnes (Mangawhai Heads) 2nd Eti Eves (Karekare) 3rd Rhys Fitt (Red Beach) 4th= Tony Baker (Mangawhai Heads) 4th= Cory Vercoe (Mangawhai Heads) 6th Hira Edmonds (Bethells Beach)
A massive thanks to the following businesses for their ongoing support of the event: Bammas Surf Shop, Marshwood Apiaries, Threadbox, McLeods Brewery and Mangawhai Meat Shop.
REPORT BY TONY BAKER, CONTEST ORGANISER