Taitamariki double hull champs crowned with tough third day ahead at waka ama nationals

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

After finding the best taitamariki waka ama club in W6 races, day 2 of the Waka Ama National Sprints Competition closed with the crowning of the W12 250m champs yesterday before a crowd of thousands of spectators.

Tama Tū (Tūrangawaewae Waka Sports) took out the taitama W12 250m cup final in comfortable fashion, out-stroking Tamariki Kanga (Cook Islands Outriggers Association) by eight seconds.

Another nail-biting finish in the champ final saw Pipi & Pāua (Te Rau o Ngāti Kahungunu) win by a hair's length over TMOCC Taitamariki (Tauranga Moana Outrigger Canoe Club) by 0.17 seconds.

Te Hiwi o Toroa (Ruamata Waka Ama Club) rounded out the taitamariki finals action, winning the taitamāhine double hull champ final in the second-to-last race of day 2.

An overcast day 3 is poised for even tougher competition with the W6 1000m, double hull 500m and W6 500m turn races across the waters of Lake Karapiro. It includes heats, semi-finals from races yesterday and more for J16 women and men and intermediate women and men.

Paea Blue (Te Toki Voyaging Trust) won, with just under 30 seconds between them and second place-getter Manawaroa (Tūrangawaewae Waka Sports) in the J16 W6 1000m first heat. Paea White of the same club also took out the second heat, three seconds ahead of Tāmaki Team Pure (Tamaki Outrigger Canoe Club).

Heats three and four saw Hine Ipipiri (Tirohanga Waka Ama) and Team Tiare (Nga Hoe Outrigger Canoe Club) take first place respectively.

The first Intermediate Women double hull 500m semi had Hinepukohurangi (Horouta Waka Hoe Club Inc) win first place by a photo-finishing paddle stroke, followed by Nafanua Black (Manukau Outrigger Canoe Club) and Rangi Mārama (Tai Tokerau Polynesian Canoe Association) second and third place respectively.

The second semi was similar at the finish line as Wahinerawerawe (Tūrangawaewae Waka Sports) came 0.05 of a second in front of Whakato-Ohako (YMP Waka Ama) to take first place.