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Waka Ama Championships make a splash in Christchurch

22nd April 2014
Waka Ama Championships make a splash in Christchurch

Success of New Zealand Post-backed Waka Ama Championships a sign that Waka Ama continues to grow in popularity.

Waka Ama paddlers took over Lyttleton Harbour last weekend to battle it out over two days of racing at the 2014 ActivePost Waka Ama Long Distance Championships. More than 250 paddlers from 17 clubs throughout New Zealand competed in races up to 26km long.

Herberts on Tour from Pawarenga (Hokianga) showed their strength in long distance Waka Ama racing, dominating the Open Men’s 26km race ahead of Porirua Canoe and Kayak Club. Manu’s and Mates from Haeata Ocean Sports in Napier took out the Open Women’s 26km, more than 7 minutes ahead of second placed Porirua Canoe & Kayak Club.

The 2014 ActivePost New Zealand Long Distance Waka Ama Championships were supported by New Zealand Post’s ActivePost initiative, which encourages communities to participate in sports and recreation.

Clubs competed for national honours in one, two or six paddler crews across seven age groups. The winning crews for the 2014 ActivePost National Long Distance Waka Ama Championships were:

• Open Men W1 15km Championship (Rudderless): Tupuria King – Nga Hoe Horo Outrigger Canoe Club – Pawarenga
• Open Men W1 15km Championship (Ruddered): Mark Creswell – Te Awa Haku – Christchurch
• Open Women W1 15km Championship (Rudderless): Marianna Hodges – Porirua Canoe & Kayak - Porirua
• Open Men W6 26km Championship: Herberts on Tour - Pawarenga
• Open Women W6 26km Championship: Manu’s & Mates – Haeata Ocean Sports –Napier
• Open Mixed W6 26km Championship: Mahi Kotahi – Horouta Waka Hoe – Gisborne

Lara Collins, Chief Executive of Waka Ama New Zealand, said that this year’s championships were a particularly special event, being held in Christchurch for the first time.

“We’re really stoked with how the championship went this weekend. The host clubs in Christchurch put on a fantastic event and the weather was stunning! The sport is growing fast in the South Island and the success of the weekend was just reward for the scores of volunteers who made this a truly special event.”

Nicola Airey, Group Brand and Sponsorship Manager at New Zealand Post, said New Zealand Post was proud to be helping the Waka Ama racing community expand their sport.

“Through ActivePost we support a wide range of sports so that they can boost participation, particularly in their junior ranks.

“More than 100,000 Kiwi kids are participating in ActivePost sports initiatives and the secret to their popularity is that kids can just have a go at trying out sports. Waka Ama ticks all the boxes – it’s fun, engaging and very community driven. That makes it ideal for encouraging kids to develop a passion for sports,” she said.

In just twenty five years Waka Ama racing has grown in popularity to become the fastest growing sport in New Zealand. Each year, more than 8,000 paddlers from 85 Clubs turn out to race Waka Ama in a show of brute strength, endurance, and team work. Many thousands more attend to watch the racing as spectators.

This year’s full list of results can be found at http://wakaama.co.nz/racecalendar/lookup/975

Ends

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