This year was the 30th anniversary of the Waka Ama National Sprint Championships at Lake Karapiro. The paddlers age range was from 5 years old to 82 years old.
3587 paddlers, 660 Midgets, nearly 2,000 paddlers 16 years and under, 387 Races, 6 days of no wind!
A great week of racing
It was a fantastic week of racing with the midgets and intermediates on the first 2 days. They were joined by the J16 paddlers on Day 3. Adult racing started with the V1 races on day 4. Day 5 and 6 were mainly W6 and W12 racing with the final races being the 250m V1 dash.
A big contingent from Nelson
For the very first time Maitahi had paddlers competing at Nationals. Seb Head (Masters Men), Jan Blythe (Golden Masters Women) and Greg Buck (Masters 70 Men) competed in the V1 500m sprint races.
There was a strong Nelson contingent with 3 W6 crews from Whakatū Marae club. VO2 won gold in the 500m and Kereama, who paddled V1, won silver in the Senior Masters Mens race.
I didn't understand how fierce the competition was until I attended sprints last year. The work the crews and singles paddlers put in is epic. Well done.
See the photos (I can't find photos of everyone - if anyone has some I've missed please let me know.)
Singles V1 paddlers from Nelson were
- Golden Masters Women:
- Jan Blythe (Maitahi)
- Senior Masters Women:
- Tracey Kingi (Whakatū Marae)
- Masters Women:
- Carmel Barrett (Te Awa Haku)
- Huriana Lawrence (Whakatū Marae)
- Char Payn (Whakatū Marae)
- Open Women:
- Lydia Walterfang (Whakatū Marae)
- Suz Tewaka (Whakatū Marae)
- Jade Shellcrass (Whakatū Marae)
- Masters 70 Men:
- Greg Buck (Maitahi)
- Senior Masters men:
- Kereama Payne (Whakatū Marae)
- Masters Men:
- Seb Head (Maitahi)
- Jason Hulena (Whakatū Marae)
- Craig Allen (Whakatū Marae)
- Shane Anderson (Whakatū Marae)
- Open Men:
- Callum O'Leary (Motueka)
- Katcha Whea - Masters Women (Whakatū Marae)
- Pouwaiwai - Open Women (Whakatū Marae)
- VO2 - Masters Men
To check out the results at https://liveresults.co.nz/competition/194/schedule/race/170
Check out padders by event https://wakaama.co.nz/racecalendar/entries/1432/byevent