Outstanding Regional Challenges in Alexandra and Palmerston North set the scene for the UFBA National Firefighter Combat Challenge on the Wellington waterfront.
Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade provided exceptional support and were welcoming and helpful hosts for around 75 participants at the South Island event on 25 March.
Ed Jackman (Rangiora) won the Open Male title which last year went to his good mate Steven Maw. The winner of the 2016 Open Female competition, Hayley Rossiter (Darfield), again took out first place.
Hosted by Palmerston North on 8 April, the North Island Challenge had a record number of participants for a regional event with 120 taking part.
Dave Shaw (Te Awamutu), the winner in 2016, again took out top place in the Open Male category while first time competitor Moana Bond (Otaki) won Open Female.
Wellington turned on spectacular weather again for the Nationals on 5-6 May. The two action packed days fired-up the 165 competitors, their supporters and hundreds of public spectators.
Overall, the event was a huge success— the UFBA has received a number of comments on the professional running of the event from competitors, officials and our partners.
Last year’s Open Male champion, Ed Jackman, again took out the title, with Scott Cubitt (Christchurch Airport) second (he ranked first in the Over 40 Male) and Dan Brady (Devonport) third.
Sean Jackman (Cust) won the Over 50 Male category again while Tom Reid (Christchurch Airport) claimed another Over 60 Male title.
Hayley Rossiter, the 2016 Open Female champion, won her second national title followed by Tanja Grunwald (Whanganui) who also took out the Over 40 Female category and Petra Dye-Hutchinson (NZ Army). Tineke van der Heide (Little River) was the inaugural winner of the new Over 50 Female category.
Lion’s Den awards
Outstanding competitors who meet the time criteria at regional or world championships join the elite club known as the Lion’s Den. We congratulate the Kiwis who were installed this season.
At Palmerston North, local competitor Josh Draper needed to complete the course in 2:00 minutes or less for the Over 40 Male category—his time was 1:49.53.
With a time of 3:19.34, Tony Dench (Havelock North) easily beat the 4:00 time required for the Over 60 Male section.
Tineke van der Heide qualified in the Over 50 Female category in Wellington with a time of 4:40.70 and Tim Connell (Takaka) ran 1:57.64 in the Over 40 Male—they had both previously received Lion Den’s medals.
Event continues to grow
Our thanks to the host committees, Officials, Technical Panel, Challenges Committee and Events Team for ensuring this UFBA Firefighter Combat Challenge season was a resounding success.
We also commend the competitors and their brigades for their dedication to the months of gruelling training needed to compete in this physically demanding event.
The continued growth of this event is encouraging. The level of fitness of all our firefighters is greatly improving and there is a great sense of community and comradeship between the participants and officials.
We’re now planning the 2018 season—if your brigade is keen to host an event, please email us
For full Nationals results click here
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