It was the second day of the W6 races and the first chance for U14 paddlers, Hoe Aroha Waka Ama from Tauranga to shine.
The team recently returned from a kapa haka competition in Palmerston North to race at the Vaka Eiva.
Kalani Dickson says, “We're okay at paddling. But looking at all the teams here, we could lose!”
Their team has only practised together once. Their trainings have been restricted because they've had to focus on kapa haka.
“I only bought one team cos we’ve been hard out doing Haka Nats, Te Mana Kuratahi, so they’ve been training for the last nine months, they’ve had nohos nearly every weekend, so we haven’t had much time to get out on the water, when we have got out on the water it’s been rough so we’ve had to do swimming and running,” explained Dickson.
The team put in their best efforts in today’s race, unfortunately strong winds caused the team a few problems. They successfully crossed the line in 5th place overall.
Emma Mokomoko says, “It was hard, but we kept going. Although we didn't place, it's a great sport. That's why we always return, for the sport.”
The young team will have a few more chances to win a medal.
The final races will take place the day after tomorrow.