Making a big splash in Christchurch - but not like a bird

Making a big splash is less about soaring like a bird and more about perfecting the art of the splash, according to a Christchurch manu expert.

Jono Horton. Photo: John Cosgrove
Jono Horton. Photo: John Cosgrove
"It’s certainly good when you crack a good one and get the biggest splash,”Jono Horton, 19, of Bryndwr, said.

And there was plenty of that on display last Sunday at the Jellie Park complex, as 30 bombers of all ages took part in latest round of Christchurch City Council’s 'manu competition'.

As the winner of last year’s inaugural event, Horton was aiming to defend his title and produced a good set of ‘bombs’ during his time in front of the judges at the pool.

They were looking for splash volume and height, along with style and originality as they scored each entrant.

Horton said they do the staple, the coffin, the cannon ball, but the most famous is the manu - "it’s the Maori word for bird".

"You look at the water, find your jump spot, bend your knees and throw your arm up," he said.

Samuel Mataio of Papanui, tries to get his form right as he leaps into the Jellie Park pool....
Samuel Mataio of Papanui, tries to get his form right as he leaps into the Jellie Park pool. Photo: John Cosgrove
"Then when you’re about to hit the water you fold your body into a V-shape with your back pushed into your legs and your hands covering your face.

"After your butt touches the water and your back and legs are submerged, you unfold so you’re basically flat in the water and that helps give you a nice ‘pop’.

If you get a deep pop then most of the time your splash is powerful,” he said.

In the Jellie Park round open male category, Horton was first with Sam Mataio and Marli Hetutu second and third respectively.

At the end of the competition season, which runs until early March at six of the city’s pools, the top three queens or kings of the manu will be awarded an official trophy and prizes.

Spot prizes will also be handed out throughout the competition.

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