Gisborne surf lifesavers in form at Grom Challenge

RACE YOU TO THE WATER: Gisborne clubbies Lachioe Falloon (left) and Jack Keepa (third from left) head off for the swim leg of the Gromm Challenge. Keepa was the overall winner in the u14 division. Pictures by FPS Visual
Jack Keepa at the finish.

GISBORNE surf lifesavers Jack Keepa, Lachie Falloon and Jack Leeper were in top form at the inaugural Grom Challenge at Mount Maunganui.

Wainui’s Keepa was first overall in the under-14 division, with Midway’s Falloon third. Leeper (Waikanae) was fourth overall.

The event attracted 120 surf athletes from around Aotearoa “challenging their surf skills, speed and fitness across four unique race disciplines — four races, mini-enduro, Le Mans board and swim races and a hairpin beach sprint”.

“Athletes aged between 10 and 14 attended from as far South as Dunedin, with strong numbers attending from Wellington, Taranaki, Gisborne, Auckland and Bay of Plenty,” said event organiser Andrew Newton, a former New Zealand surf lifesaving representative.

“While the kids are racing they’re reinforcing their ocean skills, creating memories and making new friends from other areas of New Zealand.

“I’m overwhelmed with the support shown by families and training groups to support this event regardless of their geographical location.

Keepa was dominant across the four disciplines winning both the mini-enduro and board race (with Falloon), and placing second in the swim and beach sprint events making him the overall.

Falloon (Waikanae) wasn’t far behind with third placings in the mini-enduro, board, and swim and a fourth in the sprint.

Newton said the event was sold out three weeks beforehand.

“Given the success and overwhelming feedback from kids and adults the Grom Challenge looks set to have a bright future for the summers ahead.”


GISBORNE surf lifesavers Jack Keepa, Lachie Falloon and Jack Leeper were in top form at the inaugural Grom Challenge at Mount Maunganui.

Wainui’s Keepa was first overall in the under-14 division, with Midway’s Falloon third. Leeper (Waikanae) was fourth overall.

The event attracted 120 surf athletes from around Aotearoa “challenging their surf skills, speed and fitness across four unique race disciplines — four races, mini-enduro, Le Mans board and swim races and a hairpin beach sprint”.

“Athletes aged between 10 and 14 attended from as far South as Dunedin, with strong numbers attending from Wellington, Taranaki, Gisborne, Auckland and Bay of Plenty,” said event organiser Andrew Newton, a former New Zealand surf lifesaving representative.

“While the kids are racing they’re reinforcing their ocean skills, creating memories and making new friends from other areas of New Zealand.

“I’m overwhelmed with the support shown by families and training groups to support this event regardless of their geographical location.

Keepa was dominant across the four disciplines winning both the mini-enduro and board race (with Falloon), and placing second in the swim and beach sprint events making him the overall.

Falloon (Waikanae) wasn’t far behind with third placings in the mini-enduro, board, and swim and a fourth in the sprint.

Newton said the event was sold out three weeks beforehand.

“Given the success and overwhelming feedback from kids and adults the Grom Challenge looks set to have a bright future for the summers ahead.”


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