32nd Te Wānanga O Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals
Today we had an entire day of finals, the energy was high, and the paddlers were on form with both turns and straight races – there was something for everyone.
Pure OCC, of Rotorua retained their 1500m title from last year in the open men’s division.
Kaihoe o Ngāti Rehia Trust took out almost all the Gold Masters divisions, they will take 5 Gold Medals home to the Tai Tokerau today, all won by paddlers 60+ years old.
Kaiarahi toa – of Gisborne’s Horouta club – smashed the field once again in the 1500m and 500m dominating the open women’s division for another year! Their name is Te Reo for “Champions” and they have every right to the claim. They placed first in every race in heats, semis and finals in the W6 500m, W12 500m and even the W6 1500m divisions.
Aoraki Matatu of the South Islands Te Waka Pounamu Club won gold in the W6 Master Men (50+) 500m Sprint and silver in the W6 1000m Sprint.
Manukau smashed the field in the 500m Open Men’s Division with 18-year-old rising star Kacey Ngataki stroking the team for the win
Horouta Waka Hoe took home the club points trophy for the 10th year and Tu Tangi Ora from Kaipara were awarded the Ace Cuthers memorial Trophy for Club Spirit throughout the week.
CEO of Waka Ama NZ, Lara Collins said that it was “Awesome to be able to have so many people come together to enjoy a week of Waka Ama at Karāpiro. The Racing on the water was competitive and exciting and the atmosphere off water was buzzing! While the rest of the world is in lock-down we can enjoy a major sporting event thanks to the efforts of the New Zealand Government and all of Aotearoa working hard to beat COVID-19. We can’t wait for next year’s event!