U14 Surf Life Saving National Championship - Oceans ‘18 was proudly hosted by Orewa Life Saving Club from 1st-4th March.
After 30 years a major New Zealand Championship event headed back to Orewa Beach.
One man had a dream that we could host this event – and he made it happen. To Dave Shanks goes credit for starting us on the path to Oceans 18. In mid 2016 Dave put a team together and planning started. Hours of phone calls, emails and meetings. Finally, Oceans was only a few days away
Oceans week began with a flurry of activity, the arrival of equipment in containers, vehicles arriving and people working everywhere. Orewa Beach was looking her best and a wave was also organised, which was not an easy feat. Big thumbs up by all athletes.
We had trailer parking for all the clubs, a tent city, food vendors, amusements, and a whole lot of fun and competition to be had. By Wednesday afternoon the Reserve around Orewa SLSC had been transformed into a venue fit for U14 Surf Life Saving National Championship - Oceans ‘18.
Day 1 was finally here with approximately 3000 people descending on Orewa. 829 athletes, families and clubbies from 46 clubs around the country. At 10.00 am Oceans’18 at Orewa began enthusiastically. We had showers, rain, torrential rain, wind, sun, rain, torrential rain, wind and even thunder thrown in for good measure. Despite the weather there were still smiles – and lots of competition.
Day 2: We woke to overcast skies and that easterly wind. More races scheduled for another promising day for all the athletes and supporters.
Day 3 was a cracker, sun shining, still windy but there were people everywhere. It would have had to be a memorable day for all concerned
Unfortunately, Day 4 was cancelled as a fair racing course could not be set, with more waves and easterly winds.
So, all that was left to do was congratulate the Oceans 18 champion club - Mt Maunganui. And then the packing up begins, tents came down, bags were packed. People and their trailers left, and little old Orewa was almost back to normal within hours.
That was Oceans 18 wrapped up in a few words. What an amazing event for our club and our community.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this a successful event in whatever way you were involved. All the school kids and others in the work parties, the volunteer officials, parents and Grandparents directing traffic in the car park. To the parents and siblings of the athletes who came to support the team plus the coaches and managers.
We did it!! Orewa delivered a major championship event with heart and soul and showed NZ what Orewa SLSC is about. Let’s hope it not another 30 years!! Oceans 2021 anyone????