Start of club races at the IVF Va'a World Sprint Championships

By Rahia Timutimu

Club colours were seen far and wide, signalling the start of the club section at this year's world championships.

The W12 and W1 races were held today, the Masters Womens v12 race was the first race of the day.

It featured two NZ teams and a maori team representing Australia in the 7 team race,In the end, it was the Māori team from Australia that came second behind Tahiti.

It’s amazing to come second here especially in our first race,” says member Frances Banks,  “of course we are all nervous, we’ve combined with a team that we haven’t paddled with, and it’s a little bit different but we really felt it out there the girls just blocked everything out and got on the water put their paddles in time through the water and it went really well, I’m stoked with that especially behind Tahiti, and some of my NZ mates they were in there too so it made it a bit special.”

To the singles races, some of NZ's best individual paddlers took to the water. Including current top two National champion Gaibreill Wainohu. It was an easy heat for the Horouta Waka Hoe paddler, claiming victory.

 “Felt pretty good just getting out there this morning,” admits Gaibreill Wainohu, “I guess it worked to my advantage, from the others in my race since I have been racing in the last two days in the Elites so I kind of had a feel of the water and also the flags as well, it was a good race from everyone as well.”

Her brother, Keanu Wainohu-Kemp raced straight afterwards. The Gisborne paddler had a hard heat, paddling against a top Tahitian paddler.

“It was different conditions to what I’m used to on the lake,” says Keanu, “a lot more down wind, so I had to pick up my rate a lot more, I didn’t have time to go long.”

The long distance races will be held tomorrow.