Topic: Waka Ama

NZ waka ama teams look to make Tahiti finals

By Rahia Timutimu
  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty
  • North Island: West Coast
  • North Island: East Coast
  • Wellington
  • South Island

It was all about the turns in today’s races, with club teams taking the water to compete in the 1000 V6 races at the IVF Va’a World Sprint Championships in Tahiti.

Tairāwhiti was one of the first races of the day, the Master 50 side competed in the second heat of six heats in the 1000m category, which is one of the largest categories here.

The side from Mareikura won their heat with their time of 5:31.51, beating the second placed side by three seconds.

“Some of our girls haven’t been on the course so it was a good hit for us,” says paddler Denise Tapp, “Also, the conditions we’ve been training in are a lot worse since we’ve been here.  This is the first time it’s actually been flat so we actually changed out team to look at that.  The changes didn’t matter- the girls were fantastic.  They actually looked at what the conditions were and adjusted accordingly.”

It wasn't just the senior paddlers doing well today. Puarenga from Te Au Rere were looking to make the final in the Junior 19 Mens 1000m section.

There were six teams in their repechage event.  The side from Rotorua ended up winning their race with a time of 4:31.85, beating Mou’a Tamaiti No Papara from Tahiti, who finished at 4:32.46.

Ngā Kopara Toa from Horouta Waka Hoe were one of the first semi-finals of the day, the Gisborne side won their race with a time of 5:13.09, Canada’s Kelowna came second three seconds later.

“We had a mixed bag leading up to this so we made a few changes in our boat,” says Peney Scragg, “We just treated it like our last race so we raced it like our last, like it was going to be a final.  We were a little bit more amped up than our previous races, certainly went out there and it was in our favour.  We had good flow and managed to nail the turns, and kept the straights going.”

The finals for these races are held tomorrow.