Team Aotearoa NZ Waka Ama vying for the podium in Mooloolaba
8 August 2019
This week, a strong Aotearoa NZ Waka Ama contingent will head to the International Va’a* Federation World Distance Championships held in Mooloolaba on Australia’s Sunshine Coast 10th - 17th August. From the Junior 19 to Master 70 grade, Aotearoa NZ is looking for strong performances on Australian waters.
With representatives from 22 countries, paddlers will battle it out with the best of the best from around the world. Racing will take place on the pristine waters of Mooloolaba across 5 days, with V6 (6 person) and individual V1 (single person) events ranging from 12 to 24km distances.
With satisfying results at the inaugural event in Tahiti in 2017 (Results found here: http://www.ivfiv.org/2017-tahiti---distance.html), Aotearoa NZ will look to build on that performance in 2019. Three elite crews have battled it out for selection in their respective grades - Elite Open Men, Elite Open Women, and Para Va’a Team. Age group teams were selected at the National Championships held earlier this year in Auckland. All crews will be looking forward to some slightly warmer conditions after dedicating hours and hours of training and travelling throughout a gruelling New Zealand winter.
Waka Ama New Zealand Chief Executive Lara Collins says “This event is in its second year of running and we are looking forward to getting there and watching our Aotearoa NZ paddlers take on some heavy-hitting countries - the likes of Tahiti, Hawai’i, New Caledonia, and the hosts Australia to name a few”. Lara says “Distance events are a bit more tactical, the endurance training leading up to the event is really important as is the mental toughness of the team as a whole”
The opening ceremony takes place Saturday (10th) with the J19 and Master 50 Women kicking off the event on Monday (12th) morning, racing will carry on throughout the week concluding on Friday (16th). The racing will be spectacular, as will the atmosphere at the event, as the culture of the sport of Va’a radiates in Mooloolaba.