Takapuna Beach Cup 15-02-2019
This weekend - Takapuna Beach will come alive with Waka Ama (Outrigger Canoe) Teams from all over New Zealand and the world gathering at the beach.
The Takapuna Beach Cup was founded by Ken Gilbert and the Taniwha Grizzlies Outrigger Team in 2007. After Ken and his paddling mates realised there were no International ‘Change over’ Waka Ama (outrigger) Events here in NZ, he made it his mission to get one going. In time, with the support of the Taniwha Outrigger Canoe Club; Ken’s dream materialised with the inaugural Takapuna Beach Cup in February 2007. Unfortunately Ken passed away one month later - while paddling in a race in Tauranga Harbour. His passion and discipline - paired with the skill and dedication of the club lifted the Grizzlies to a new level, their race results in this period say it all.
Though Kens passing was sorely felt, the Taniwha Outrigger Canoe Club were incredibly fortunate, Lance Richards, the Taniwha Canoe Club and Waka Ama New Zealand took up the mantle of the Takapuna Beach Cup and over the last 12 years grew the event to where it is today; an annual feature of the international waka ama/outrigger calendar.
In 2007 the event had 19 crews racing the long distance race.
In 2018 we had 95! With international teams from Hawaii, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and more.
This year - 2019 - we have;
• 18 crews in the 5km warm-up
• 96 crews in the 18/35/42 km races
• 129 Singles relay teams of 2 (288 paddlers)
• 44 crews in Juniors/Novice, and short course races
• 21 international crews (Hawaii, Australia, Tahiti, Canada, Singapore)
That's a total of 1300 paddlers in competition over 3 days, with an expected 1000 people gathered onshore.