National | Waikato

Last chance to qualify for World Sprints

Club Horouta Waka Hoe Club is dominating with the most points at the 2018 Waka Ama Sprint Nationals. Source: Waka Ama Facebook

Today is the last chance for paddlers to qualify for the world championships in Tahiti at the Day 6 of the 2018 New Zealand Waka Ama Sprint Nationals.

Waka Ama New Zealand CEO Lara Collins says today’s races will include the semi-finals and finals for the adult and J19 six-man divisions.

“We’ll have the 1000, 1500 and 500m finals for all of those grades, as well as adaptive paddling for teams,” says Collins.

The latest results from last night say the club leading the way is Horouta Waka Hoe Club Inc, dominating with 293 points.

Behind them is Manukau Outrigger Canoe Club Inc with 101 points and followed by Mareikura Waka Ama Club Incorporated with 92.

Large crowds are expected today after a successful week of racing at Lake Karāpiro.

“For the sport of waka ama it’s just great to have so many people involved, says Collins.

“Maybe they’re not here as paddlers, but whanau or spectators or just people passing by. We’ve had lots of great feedback from just everybody about how much they’re enjoying their week and wanting to come back for next year.”

Paddlers will have the chance to let their hair down and celebrate at an after-party social for over-eighteens from 8pm until midnight.

Musicians to perform include Annie Crummer, Betty-Anne Monga from Ardijah, Jason Kerrison and Che Fu.

“We’re expecting about 600 people. There’s not too many tickets left. It’s open to paddlers and anybody in the community. Anybody can come. Anybody is welcome,” says Collins.

The races are expected to start at 7.30am and finish at about 3pm.

Meanwhile, Māori Television will be live streaming the races from 1.50pm to 3.30pm.