Waimea wins national Get2Go final

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Waimea College was almost undone by a knotty problem in the Get2Go national final but showed plenty of speed, determination and team work to fight back to win the year 9 and 10 teams challenge at the Hillary Outdoor Education Centre on Great Barrier Island.

Waimea just edged out Whangarei Girls-Boys High by 27 points with Trident High in third a further 101 points behind in the six day final that ended last Friday. It was Waimea’s first win in the national final after finishing in the top five in the last five years.

Waimea’s coaches Marcus Swain and Jane Orbell say consistency was the key to their win with the team performing well in all the challenges that included rock climbing, orienteering, kayaking, sailing, mountainbiking and problem solving challenges.

“Last year we had some big ups and some big downs but this year we consistently scored near the top and that’s what counted,” Marcus says. “It was a special team effort – they all contributed to the win.”

Marcus says the team was second, just one point behind Whangarei, after the first two days of team challenges before producing a remarkable comeback to win the first day of the expedition race on Wednesday to take the lead.

“They needed to tie a reef knot around an instructor without using their hands before they could start the expedition race and couldn’t do it so they lost 30 minutes and started last. But they smashed the race – they kept passing teams  and went on to win – that was the game breaker.

“We were also streets ahead in the sailing challenge. We can thank Tim at the Nelson Yacht Club for that – he gave some lessons and that really helped.”

Marcus says two of the team, Cameron Jones and Maggie McLean, were named in the Get2Go Dream Team named at the conclusion of the final.

“Cameron’s fitness level was second-to-none and Maggie was so tough. She broke her arms eight weeks before the final and still fronted up.”

Maggie says the highlight was the first day of the expedition race when they went from last to first to take the lead.

“We were getting really frustrated when we couldn’t tie the reef knot and had to watch all the other teams leaving. But we stayed positive and once we started we raced really hard.

“It was really cool catching all the teams and we got really hyped once we got to the lead. But I think that effort caught up with us on the the second day – we were just surviving and hanging on – it was easily the toughest day.”

Maggie says good team work and consistency were the keys to their win.

“We have a great team and we scored well in all the challenges – we never duffed one.”

The Waimea team is: Cameron, Maggie, Emma Charles, Finn Mitchell, Kendall Shuker, Hamish Anderson, Keyle Brown and Mac Karalus.