Golden day for NZ Waka Ama Elite teams

By Rahia Timutimu

It was an emotional yet exciting day with the finals of the elite races. This is where we saw the best of the best paddlers from each country battle for gold.

There are four different elite sections and New Zealand had top teams in all races. They represented our country in style, with 3 golds in the first 4 finals.
 
The Junior Elite Women's team raced first today. With a total of 4 teams in this race, it was a straight final.
 
New Zealand led from the start, not looking back. In the end they won by a waka length, to take the first gold of the elite competition.
 
All eyes were on the water as the Elite Men's raced. New Zealand had a good start, and took the lead early. 

Paddler Tyrin Thomas said, "It felt like we had 7 paddlers on the water."
 
New Zealand didn't give up and continued to lead right to the lead, to win overall.
 
The Elite Women's race was up next. New Zealand taking the lead early, quickly followed by Tahiti. The women in black led to the end, ultimately taking home gold. 
 
New Zealand Elite Women's paddler Rose King said, "A big fat satisfaction that we won."
 
The Elite Junior Men's 500m race was the final elite race of the day. 

In the end it was a battle between Aotearoa and Australia for second place, Australia in the end coming out on top.

Tomorrow the club races will commence.