Regional | Karāpiro

Brilliant wrap up for Waka Ama teams at Karāpiro

With three gold medals in the last four years to their name, Kaiārahi Toa were the favourites and it didn't take long before their dominance was clear.

"We train every day except Sunday often twice a day as well,” says Bess Halley.

The Horouta team won by two boat lengths ahead of Hinekapuarangi from Mareikura who came in second, an effort the team are more than happy with.

“We're just stoked that it all came together. Our whole team wasn't together last year so it was really great,” says Halley.

Like Kaiārahi Toa, the men's top qualifier Pineula Hoe impressed from the first turn and they kept extending their lead over the Bhutty Boys and Vaka Manu Black to get the gold medal.

While Pineula have been a top team in the open men's, they have always struggled to win this event but training over the summer has paid off.

In the Premier Women W6 500m final, Kaiārahi Toa again showed why they're the top women's team in the country, grabbing their second gold medal for the day.

The men's section was set to be a real competition with Vaka Manu Black, Pineula Hoe and OCC but the defending champs were too strong, blitzing the competition and winning their third gold medal in a row.

Brad Anderson of Vaka Manu Black says, “I'm just so proud of the boys for backing it up again for another year and it's just an absolute team effort, there's not one of us that didn't hurt on the finish line.”

All the races are now completed, it was a very successful week on and off the lake and the paddlers and organisers can all have a well-deserved break.