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Paddling against the tide of being inside

Flagstaff Team

Poised for action… Lucas Gilberd was eager to hit the water for a fresh challenge

Forrest Hill 11-year-old Lucas Gilberd relished the chance to kayak off Takapuna Beach last week. He was one of a group of local children enjoying getting outdoors for a different kind of lesson during lockdown.

“I just play basketball at my house and do school work,” he told the Observer.

High five… Rosara Davis and Issy Riley give a socially distanced salute during kayak practice on Takapuna Beach

Issy Riley, aged 10, from Stanley Bay, said she too was enjoying a change in routine. “It’s nice to be out on the water.”

Rosara Davis, a 13-year-old student at Belmont Intermediate, agreed that it was “pretty good to be doing something”.

Rosara’s father was along as a parent helper supervising out on the water, at the lesson coached by another father, Scott Orman, just out from the Takapuna Boating Club.

Under Alert Level 3 regulations, competent individuals or small organised groups that maintain social distancing are allowed on the water, to kayak, canoe, row, surf, wind-surf or paddle board, near to shore.

Making the most of Takapuna Beach as a safe venue for this, several groups from outside the area were also on the beach last week, including swimmers from West Auckland and members of the Piha Surf Lifesaving Club, who regularly train in the calmer eastern waters.

Beach patrols started at some beaches last Saturday, 23 October.

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