Day 1 of races at Waka Ama World Champs kicks off

By Rahia Timutimu

For months, waka ama teams from around the world have been training in different climates to prepare for today's races, in the first day of the Va'a Rio World Sprint championships held in Brazil. 

Among the first race of the competition were NZ paddlers, which was the open men's W12 heat, one of 2 races of the competition.

With only one official open men's crew from NZ they had to team up with the Parihaka Masters crew.

In Lane 5, NZ had a good start and pushed in at halfway, coming first In this first race of the competition.

Team events weren't the only races that were held today, paddlers also had  to be selfish as it was the start of individual races

Manuka Stirling was the first singles paddler to represent NZ at this competition.

In her U19 V1 heat were paddlers from around the world, despite this she was was in fine form, claiming second place.

Did the Parihaka Masters team manage to get some much needed rest in?  No way!

They were quick to get back out onto the water for their own masters division along side Korowai, after a great performance in the Open grade.

With three in their heat, they looked to take it out, placing second overall.

The first medal ceremony will be held tomorrow.