Day 1 at the Takapuna Beach Cup Waka Ama

By Tema Hemi

Its day one of racing at the Takapuna Beach Cup and first timers Waka Ama Singapore will see how they match up against a fierce competition that consists of local and other international teams including world champions Tahiti. 

It's the first of many paddles to come for this Singapore based team. Having to travel back down under hasn't been easy and the return trip home has had its challenges and this team has had a wealth of experience helping them to up their game. 1300 paddlers will compete over the next three days at Takapuna Beach.

Singapore Waka Ama Club paddler Brian Matila says, "In Singapore every year we have a country of origin race and that's when the kiwi's all come together and that's pretty much how we started up our club. So this is our first overseas race as a club so it's all pretty exciting for us. Well, it's not much of an effort really because we're coming home so that's an exciting thing for us. We have no finances so we're just paying for everything ourselves. Training wise we're like everybody else its 5 days on the water and 4 days in the gym. Just learning of everybody else because the kiwi's here are so strong. We trained with the Taniwha Club the other night, we haven't trained with that sort of intensity I'm not sure if its the coaching over there or because of the heat but we never get up to 190% all the way around. So I really want our club to learn and pick things up so we can take it back to our other members.

The Singapore Waka Ama Club has enlisted the experience of Waka Ama singles champion Tupuria King, King had this to say, "Last year in November I had the opportunity to go to Singapore to deliver some coaching clinics not just with the kiwi crew from Singapore but with paddlers from the region. I never would of thought that going there that paddling would be so big."