Despite some light rain, the 2013 Waka Ama Nationals kicked off without a hitch and while it caused some disruption for the Midget crews they got on with it with the weather easing up eventually.
More than 2,500 paddlers will take part this year with the young right through to the seasoned paddlers who hail from 55 different clubs across the country all hoping for a shot at a medal. But the first day of the competition was all about the young paddlers 16 years and under.
In total, Day One saw 68 races in three different sections, which included the Midgets, Intermediate and the Under 16 teams. While some of the finals were carried out on Day One, Day Two will see the majority of the face offs.
The Tūrangawaewae Waka Sports Club is just 8-years-old, but they’ve already made a name for themselves as one of the clubs to beat in the Junior section of the competition. They proved a force to be reckoned with after dominating several of the junior races over the last two years and they came into this year's competition hoping to do the same thing.
Te Mata o Te Enua is one of the teams from Tūrangawaewae, a fast strong team and they proved this by taking out the very first race of the day. The girl's Intermediate team from the same club also showed their mana also in their first race.
This particular club started in 2005 due to parents wanting their children to participate in sport.
Reporter: Rewa Harriman.