24 Apr, 2023
On Sunday April 23 Mangawhai Heads Volunteer Lifesaving Service (MHVLS) held the inaugural 'Jackman Junior', an exciting event that saw around 20 talented athletes under 16-years-old compete in kneeboarding and paddleboarding along the length of the estuary from the Mangawhai Tavern to the main surf beach.
Echoing the senior Jackman Classic, the event is named in honour of David Jackman. Dave Jackman made history by being the first surfer to ride Sydney’s infamous Queenscliff Bombora in 15-foot surf on a longboard in 1961. Born and raised in Sydney, Jackman relocated to NZ around 1963 where he lived on Auckland’s West Coast at Muriwai Beach until he passed away in 2014.
In 2009, the then Surf Lifesaving Northern Region manager Tony Baker and MHVLS lifeguard Dean Storey decided to create an event that would honour Jackman’s prowess as an all-round waterman. This year Don Baxter created the new Jackman Junior to promote the water skills of the younger surf sportspersons based in Mangawhai.
The event kicked off from the Tavern with the competitors displaying impressive skill and technique as they navigated their boards along the 6km course towards the beach. The competition was friendly and fun, with every participant giving it their all, spurred on by their eager parents and whanau. The skill level on display was impressive, with all the riders showing remarkable talent and promise.
At the end of the day, Don announced the top performers, with commemorative T-shirts available to buy for everyone who completed the course.
The Jackman Junior event was a wonderful opportunity for young athletes to come together, have fun, support and learn from each other. The fabulous new event is a great boost at the end of a challenging season for the close-knit Mangawhai Heads surf lifesaving community.
Congratulations to everyone involved, Don Baxter, the MHVLS for organising such a magnificent event, and look forward to seeing it grow in the years to come.
n JACKMAN JUNIOR TOP 10: Mangawhai Tavern to Mangawhai Heads, start 11.07am – 1 Jack Farmer 44:40, 2 Sienna Purcell 45:30, 3 Emma Lay 46:30, 4 Q Veer 47:30, 5 Konrad Dixon 53:47, 6 Inez Fulton 55:10, 7 Faith Paul 56:10, 8 Lara Lay 56:20, 9 Ethan Purcell 56:30, 10 Bekker Pienaar 59:59.
The new Jackman Junior aims to promote the water skills of the younger surf sportspersons based in Mangawhai. PHOTO/MHVLS