Waka ama teams from across Aotearoa and the globe will compete in the country's biggest long-distance paddling event this weekend.
The Takapuna Beach Cup will comprise 21 international crews and will see nearly 100 teams compete in the 18km, 35km and 42km races.
Forty four teams will compete in the juniors/novice and short course races.
The Takapuna Beach Cup was founded by Ken Gilbert and the Taniwha Grizzlies Outrigger Team in 2007.
After Ken and his paddling mates realised there were no International ‘Change over’ Waka Ama (outrigger) Events here in New Zealand, he made it his mission to get one going.
In time, with the support of the Taniwha Outrigger Canoe Club; Ken’s dream materialised with the inaugural Takapuna Beach Cup in February 2007. Unfortunately Ken passed away one month later - while paddling in a race in Tauranga Harbour.
His passion and discipline - paired with the skill and dedication of the club lifted the Grizzlies to a new level, their race results in this period say it all.
Over the last 12 years grew the event to where it is today; an annual feature of the international waka ama/outrigger calendar.
At the event's inception, 19 crews competed in the popular 42km long distance race.
Just last year, there was a total of 95 crews, with international teams from Hawaii, Australia, New Caledonia, Tahiti and more.
1300 paddlers will compete throughout the 3-day long competition, with an expected 1000 people gathered onshore.