Many from near and far gathered at Lake Karapiro today to participate in the National Waka Ama Sprint Championship.
Midget (under 10) teams from 61 clubs took to the water today, despite the downpour of rain, in a bid to be crowned the 2019 champions for their grade.
It was the first time on the water for many of the young paddlers and despite the grey skies, they all gave it a good go.
Midget teams compete over 250 metres in six and twelve person races, with the distance increasing throughout the week as the grades go up in level.
First timers Te Whānau-ā-Apanui Waka Ama Club have secured themselves a place in tomorrow’s championship final for the midget grade.
The final rounds for the midget grade will take place tomorrow and the heats for day two will see the Intermediate (11-13) grade and the J16 (Under 16) grade take to the water.
Māori Television will be live streaming the final races on their website.