Well that goes down as one of the longest paddle days ever. A 5.15am alarm clock and a 10pm arrival back at our Otorohanga palace. It was a super challenging day for all our V1 paddlers with both heat and high winds to contend with, so this report is going to be short and late.
So, starting at the start….. Jeff was kind enough to leap out of bed when my alarm went off and give me a hand to get my outfit and make up on. We then headed to Lake Karapiro : unfortunately that was the vague description I put into the GPS and we ended up on the wrong side of the lake at 06.45, with sixteen kilometres to go to the other side and a cut off time of 07.00 for delivery of waka. We made it by the skin of our teeth and were then able to enjoy a soothing coffee while we waited for the rest of our crew to turn up.
Lynette and Carol had to contend with awful conditions for their Master 70 heat with a very stiff cross tailwind making getting out of the loading dock a real mission. Staying in position on the start grid was really tough and four out of the nine people in their heat were DQ’d for either running the start line or going out of lane. Unfortunately that included both our Maitahi lasses. They were naturally very disappointed but deserve everyone’s admiration for getting out there and putting themselves on the line (well over it a bit but you know what I mean). With the benefit of a bit of reflection they should be proud of what they achieved. They are very much more experienced than when they set off on their journey a few months ago.
Glenn and Tony both sailed through their heats. Fortunately this wasn’t spotted by the judges. Keeping up the tradition of recent 500m runs they posted pretty much the same time. In the semis Tony was in the faster heat, always an advantage, and Glenn missed out on a final place by fractions of a second. Tony limped in in 9th place in a final where the gold and silver medals were taken by two TWP paddlers, Stephen Brett and Lyle Prior, another statement that South Island clubs and paddlers are no longer the poor relations in waka ama.
Perhaps the best thing about the whole day was the growing army of Maitahi paddlers arriving during the races. As well as the large number in the TWOA tent on the banks of the lake we had a large contingent volunteering. It provides a real boost to see familiar faces like Zoe in the marshalling tent, Sean out on the safety boat, Bunny helping us put our waka in the water and the unseen others (Kilmeny and Jan) up in the tower spying on us.
As if that wasn’t all enough for one day our keen (idiotic) crew decided to drive to Hamilton and have a short session on the fast flowing Waikato river with our new steerer and temporary MOCC member, John Tangaere.
Having thrashed ourselves we popped in for a Vietnamese dinner (squid starter was crap, mains were nice). Over dinner Rodney revealed himself to be Kitchen Gestapo, with criticism of my breakfast bowl drying performance. Words fail me and I feel this is just proof that the crew has not forgiven my whiteboard failure.
Bed beckons, Jeff has promised to keep the snoring volume down and tomorrow sees the start of the journey for the three club teams : Hine Tahi, Nga Manu Whaitiri & Krakenz 60. It’s so exciting I may not be able to fall asleeeeeeeeeeeee
Its never too early or 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.