Team extinguishes other competitors

Volunteer fire brigades are gearing up for the national waterways competition in Cromwell next month, hot on the heels of its regional competition in Alexandra at the weekend.

About 70 delegates from Otago and Southland volunteer fire brigades gathered in Alexandra on Friday for their centenary conference, followed by the annual competition on Saturday.

Also present were the United Fire Brigades' Association national president Brian Watters, of Morrinsville, and Canterbury provincial president Robin Ashby, of Rolleston.

After his one-year term, Alexandra chief fire officer Russell Anderson handed over the Otago-Southland president role to Luggate deputy chief fire officer Wayne Ferguson.

The conference programme included a talk from guest speaker Central Otago District Council principal rural fire officer Owen Burgess, and the launch of the centenary book.

On Saturday, firefighters from around the region took part in an annual competition, held near the Dunstan High School hostel.

Mr Anderson said 11 teams of four and another five teams of two had entered.

The Balclutha team won the competition's major prize - the Otago-Southland provincial championship shield and 18 other trophies after winning eight out of nine events.

Coach Terry Michie said it was an excellent result for the Balclutha brigade, winning the competition for the second year running.

He said the team had trained twice a week since November and often competed in smaller competitions as preparation.

''We've been in the team together for so many years, and we work well together.''

The four-man team is made up of Craig Botting, Nathan Davey, Mark Proctor, and Jason Watt.

Mr Michie, who is also the brigade's deputy chief fire officer, said the team was focusing on the national competition to be held in Cromwell next month.

Results were. - Balclutha 1, Kaitangata 2, Lumsden-Mossburn 3, Cromwell 4, Mataura 5.