Paekakariki surf lifesaver Kayla Imrie dispatched an Olympian to claim gold at the Eastern Regional Championships in Whangamata.
Imrie, 21, was too strong in the closely contested open ski race, heading off Olympian Teneale Hatton, of Orewa, and Red Beach's Caitlin Ryan.
"It's an outstanding result," said Paekakariki coach Shane Radovanovich.
"She basically led the race from start to finish. It came down to a sprint on the line with her and Teneale."
Paekakariki's Seth Forbes also won gold, in the under-19 men's beach flags, and a bronze medal in the under-19 sprints.
Radovanovich said the eastern regionals were the second-largest surf life-saving competition in New Zealand, behind the national championships, this year attracting more than 840 competitors.
"It's a pretty good indicator of the strength of the fields at nationals [on March 7-10]."
The Paekakariki club fielded a 29-strong team at the January 26-27 Eastern regionals.
The club's under-16 women's crews continued their good form. Katie Trott and McKenzie Radovanovich claimed silver in the board rescue and combined with Tess Allen to take silver in the taplin relay.
In the under-19 grade, Kurtis Imrie, Tem Forbes and Thomas McCarthy finished runners-up in the men's taplin event, while the club's canoe crew of Ryan Cullen, Joe Mansell, William Mansell and Jacob Cannell, claimed silver in the short course and bronze in the long course.
Trent Shields won a bronze medal in the under-19 ski.
The next major event is the Capital Coast championships, hosted by Paekakariki, on February 1.
Up to 500 competitors are expected, aged seven and over.
- Kapiti Observer