National Waka Ama Sprints – a big experience

Nelson was really well represented in the National Waka Ama Sprints at Karapiro this January (2018). We had around 30 Nelson paddlers competing with a couple more from Motueka. The whole Te Waka O Aoraki tent was buzzing as there were crews from Christchurch as well.

I have watched Zoe (Katcha Whae) as she has been training hard over the last 3 years, but I never understood exactly what her crew are up against at Nationals. The competition is fierce. Just the sheer number of paddlers competing (around 3,000) is amazing. The venue is beautifully suited to the event and the organisation runs like clock work. One lot of waka will be racing, the next will be paddling up to the start line, the next lot of paddlers waiting in the chute.

I ran into Sonia from Whakatane who paddled with my Monday morning crew early this year. Sonia was one of the people who got me interested in sprinting and encouraged me to have a go. We were just coming off the waka at the end of the race and there she was. I saw Pania who was in my watch at Outward Bound. She had injured her shoulder a month before sprints so was not competing. Everyone was so encouraging.

Lining up for the starts. Tahu nui a Rangi in waka 8

South Island Waka Ama crew results

Wakatipu Waka Ama Club

  • Tahu nui a Rangi – Golden Master Women finalists in 1000m & 500m

Whakatu Marae Waka Ama Club

  • Katcha Whea – Master Women finalists in 1000m & 500m
  • VO2 – Master Men Silver 500m, finalists in 1000m
  • Koa & Powaiwai – 2 Premier Womens attending their first nationals, Koa got into the semi finals
  • Graham Payn – bronze in Senior Master Men v1
  • Carmel Barratt & Huriana Lawrence – Masters Womens V1
  • Tracey Kingi – Senior Masters Women V1

Te Waka Pounamu

  • Master Men – 2 gold, 1 bronze
  • 3 in V1 finals

Te Awa Haku

  • Premiere Men, finalists
  • Premiere Women bronze 1500m
  • 2 in v1 finals

Check out the amazing photos

Tahu nui a Rangi – Wakatipu Waka Ama Club (with 2 Maitahi crew)

Katcha Whae, Masters Women, Whakatū Marae

VO2 Masters Men, Whakatū Marae

Koa, Premier Women, Whakatū Marae

Powaiwai, Premier Women, Whakatū Marae

Singles V1

We had 4 Nelson paddlers competing in singles. Kereama Payn got a bronze in the Senior Masters Mens. Tracey Kingi competed in the Senior Masters Womens, Carmel Barratt and Huirana Lawerence competed in the Masters Womens. Sorry Huri I could only find a photo of you in the distance. And then we have Rob Smith who visits a lot.

Its never too late to start paddling waka ama

We always welcome new members to the Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club.
We have social and racing waka ama crews catering for a wide variety of ages and abilities.

We have Junior Rangatahi crews (school aged children) right through to Masters 70s paddlers (over 70s).