The sun came out and shone hard. Boats moored in the bay. A market of delicious food and exciting knick-knacks stood ready. Everything was ready for the crowds.

Last Sunday, the Onetangi Beach Races once again brought hordes of locals and tourists to the waterside to watch horses, tractors and Sealegs race to the finish line.
Horses with riders and horses with carts dominated the day, but the amphibious Sealegs drew the attention of many when they drove into the water, sailed around a mooring and came storming back to shore. Simon Harding was the fastest in the performance race, and Scott Burridge was the winner of the exhibition race.

In keeping with tradition, a half a dozen tractors chugged along the beach at full throttle at midday. At the end of it, Murray on Tractor John took the trophy.
Another classic at the beach races is the Fashion in the Field competition. The three finalists in this year’s children’s category were Gabriella Canestri, Skye Quax and Antony Canestri. Skye in her yellow dress and white, laced umbrella won first place.
Fabio Ghisleni won the men’s category wearing his yellow binoculars and turquoise summer shirt.

And unlike the past two years, Beverley Scott did not take the prize in the women’s category. The three finalists were Clare Kilpatrick, Holly Cassidy and Sarah Leppard. In her white dress and significant pink hat, Holly won.

The day rounded off with the newly introduced uniformed services race where the fire services, St  John and the police competed in essential skills. Firstly, one had to un-cuff their teammate, secondly, they ran with a bandaged knee and crutches to the fire hose that, thirdly, had to be unrolled. Though all teams gave a sweat-drippingly good effort, winners were Daniella Hau and Sam McDonald from the fire service.

People also competed in the tug-o-war, the Segway race and to built the best sand sculpture and castle. • Emma Haas

Subscribe and read Gulf News and Waiheke Weekender Online