Waka ama champ sets sights on Super Aito

By Harata Brown

Tupuria King is New Caledonia's Aito Taratoni champion. The waka ama champ says the latest title makes for good training in the lead up to the grand Super Aito championships in Tahiti.

The NZ's Open Men's champ is leaving the international waka ama scene in his wake.

"I've been competing in the New Caledonian Aito race for the last three years and finally I have managed to win my first Aito in Taratoni so yeah it's a really good feeling," says Tupuria King.

The 22-year old competed in New Caledonia's Aito Taratoni competition over the weekend. King was the first to finish the 28km course amongst 200 contenders.

“To me, it's a very good to win because one of the top Tahitians actually came over to compete and he's won it for the last two years. So it was really good to claim this victory with him there but ultimately the biggest Aito is in Tahiti and we'll see how that goes in a months’ time.”

The World Sprints Open Men’s bronze medallist will fly to Tahiti in two weeks’ time to prepare for the Super Aito race, one of the biggest outrigger races in the world.

“There's quite a different type of water there. So it's really good to get used to paddling in that type of water and in that specific heat too. And the more time I spend there the better I guess, it's paradise.”

Super Aito will take place in August and King hopes to improve on his 10th placing at last year's race.