Nelson’s Iron Duke Sea Scouts are celebrating after bringing home the national silverware for the first time in 50 years.
The scout group have won the 28th National Scout Regatta, which was held in Onepoto Bay, Porirua from December 29 – January 6.
For the country’s oldest Sea Scout Group, founded in 1921, it’s a pretty big deal. The last time they took out the title was in 1967.
“We are ecstatic that we’ve won again after all this time,” says the group’s coordinator, Glen Kelly.
The award is the prestigious ‘Jellicoe Trident’ – a sterling silver trident which was donated in 1924 by Lord Jellicoe, who was Governor-General at the time.
Glen says the regatta is only held every three years, and this year saw 19 scout groups from around the country take part in a range of sea, land, and offsite activities.
Although Iron Duke has an impressive 150 members, just the 42 oldest (aged between 10 and 18 years) competed at the regatta.
“We were tested on everything we do as sea scouts – sailing, rowing, swimming, kayaking, camping standards, seamanship and lifesaving. All of those factors and disciplines are then added up, and we came out on top,” says Glen.
“They all loved it – we all had a ball, even when the weather bomb hit right at the end and we had to spend the last night in the Titahi Bay Intermediate School classrooms.”
Glen also gives credit to group leader Peter McGowan, who has worked hard to lead the scouts to their success.
“It’s a nice feather in his cap,” he says.
The Iron Duke Sea Scouts are based at Port Nelson and offer local young people a fun and challenging marine-focused programme.
For more information on the group, you can contact them on 0800 726 887.