Maitahi preparing to head out on the water in their waka. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Harbour Master lays down challenge

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Water was the word for the annual Harbour Master Challenge at Tahunanui Beach on Sunday.

The challenge was aimed at community engagement and promoting safety before the water sports season really kicks off.

Deputy harbourmaster Amanda Kerr says that the day was about showing off Nelson’s water sport clubs and provided an opportunity to get the harbourmaster’s safety messages out there.

“We want every single person who goes out on the water to come home safely, every day.”

“It’s a really awesome opportunity for as many of the water sports clubs as possible to show who they are and for public to come down to an environment that’s not intimidating, it’s all about fun and giving it a go.”

Surf Rescue provided an on-water demonstration rescuing someone from the open sea, and fun races like delivering a sausage to the coastguard patrol boat kept the public entertained.

Maitahi club members John Young and Katie Thurston say that the day was a great opportunity to show the public what their club is about and let the public experience being out on the water in a safe environment.

“The harbourmaster challenge is building year on year and it’s great to see people getting out there and giving it a go,” says Katie.

“Once people try it they think ‘oh that was actually easy’ and they have a lot of fun. The waka has the outrigger on it so it’s really safe, you can go fast and do some wicked turns.”

The pair took the opportunity to take members of the public out in the waka, so they too could experience the thrill of being in a Waka-ama.

Waka-ama, SUP, rowing, surf-lifesaving, surf-ski and the coastguard all had representatives to show off their club.