Day 3 Waka Ama Sprint Championships 2021
19 January 2021
32nd Te Wananga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals
That’s day 3!
Turns races were a massive hit! With over 4000 people gathered on the spectator banks of lake Karāpiro, the energy was massive! We had 49 races today, which included 500m straight races and the more challenging 500m Turns races, in this race teams must race a sprint to the 250m flag buoy and perform a 180 degree U-turn – while staying in lane – then sprint another 250m to the finish line. We also featured our first 1000m sprints, in these races teams must perform 3 controlled U-turns while giving their all to cross the finish line first. The turns are a challenge where all 6 paddlers have their specific roles, the front 2 draw water to pull the front of the waka (canoe) around the buoy, the middle acts as a pivot point – holding water, the rear two push water away from the gunnels to aid the turn and the steerer must decide on the fly which line to take and control speed so the waka doesn’t over or under turn. This single moment can see crews gain or loose over 15 seconds. A well-executed turn can see a team through to a gold medal – even if they are much slower on the straights.
Another highlight of today was the Ministry of Health Sani-Squad coming to help us stay safe and promote the COVID Level 1 kaupapa here at the 32nd Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals. “We are only able to host this event thanks to the amazing job everyone in Aotearoa has done and continues to do, to keep COVID-19 at bay and away from our communities. I would like to thank our paddlers, coaches, clubs and supporters for the great job they are doing” said Waka Ama NZ CEO Lara Collins.
Tomorrow we start our W1 races, these are some of our most skilled paddlers, guaranteeing high energy and fast paced races, we have a staggering 95 races on tomorrow! Come along and check it out!