Lauren Mann has been apart of the Lyall Bay Surf Club for most of her life, as an active competition goer, patroller and now senior committee member. Away from the beach, she has also written a children’s book and took home the title of Miss Wellington in 2012. FishHead caught up with her to get some swim-safe tips and to find out her favourite spots in the capital.
If it’s been a hard week at work and I’m in need of a drink I’ll be at… St John’s. I love sitting outside on the beanbags, and all my friends go there so there will always be someone I know.
Then the next day if I need a slap-up feed and a cup of Wellington’s finest coffee I’ll be at… Sweet Mother’s Kitchen. I love the breakfast burritos – they’re incredibly good. Scopa is the place for the best hot chocolates; even in the summer it’s good there.
I always find if you need some culture you can’t go past… what’s good about Wellington is that there’s so much. I enjoy going around the waterfront to see all the sculptures, and walking down Cuba Street to the waterfront by Te Papa.
My favourite Wellington landmark has to be… the stadium. I love going to events there like the rugby and to the Wellington Sevens during the summer. When I was little, my granddad always called it the cheese grater – it used to crack me up, so I’ve always loved it.
The Wellingtonian I would take to a pub quiz is… my cousin Nicola Provost, because she’d make friends with everyone sitting at all the other tables and persuade them to give us their answers.
I am most ashamed never to have visited… I have never been to Eastbourne, NEVER! Everyone always tells me to go. Whenever I tell people they always say, “I’ll take you”, but they never do. I’ve always wanted to catch the Day’s Bay ferry.
I know I shouldn’t, but Wellington’s best-kept secret is… fish and chips from Seaview Takeaways in Lyall Bay. The are always best eaten somewhere sheltered along the south coast.
The advice I would give to Wellington’s beach-goers to stay safe this summer is… always swim between the flags. Also, always check the surf conditions before you go out, always swim with a friend, and don’t go swimming drunk!
I predict the most popular style of swimsuit this summer will be… togs made out of wetsuit material from Billabong – really old-school 1970s themed. They have them in bikinis and one-pieces. I want one!
I’ve been surf life saving for years now, but what keeps me coming back each summer is… that my surf club is my family; I have been there my whole life. My Mum started when she was fourteen, so I grew up at the beach and it’s just the people that make me come back every year… and the cool trips away to sunny beaches.