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Sport | Waka ama

Who goes to Waka Ama Worlds and how much will it cost?

The Waka Ama Nationals in Cambridge has finished day six and places to the world sprint championship team are still waiting to be filled.

The second-to-last day of Waka Ama Nationals wrapped up up as teams rowed out to see who would participate in the world competitions later this year.

Teams are looking to represent Aotearoa and their clubs in both the World Club and Elite Championships in Hilo, Hawai’i this August.

Waka Ama Aotearoa head Lara Collins says they’re looking to take roughly 500 paddlers this winter.

“For the World Elite Championship, we have selected coaches, and they’re selecting one team for the open men’s, open women’s, J19 men (Junior 19s), J19 women’s, and a paraplegic team. Those are our national teams.

For the World Club Championship, six teams in every age category at this event will qualify.”

Chief Executive Officer of Wakaama Aotearoa Lara Collins.

A total of 22 division races will have been completed by the end of the national tournament come Saturday with crews ranging from under 15 years old to those over 80 years old.

Waka Ama Aotearoa released a document showing it will cost over $4000 to compete in the upcoming world tournament over seven days.

Collins says it will be a big task taking over a group bigger than the New Zealand Olympic team as participants will mostly be paying out of their own pockets.

“We get some support from High Performance New Zealand to help contribute to our national teams, and everyone does a lot of fundraising to get themselves and their whanau there. It’s a lot of people.”

The Golden Marsters team 'Huku a Tui' rowing on day-six of the National tournament. Credit: Wakaama Aotearoa.

New Zealand has risen and sunk in the world rankings every year but has always maintained a position in the top four.

Those who earn the right to compete in the world championships will be facing stiff competition against teams from Tahiti, Hawai’i and the Cook Islands.

The Waka Ama Nationals taking place in Lake Karāpiro saw 23 corporate businesses race on Friday, and, by Saturday, 73 clubs will have represented from Kaitāia to Wānaka.