Waka ama team brings back gold

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By ROSE FRENCH

New Zealand’s Team Pineula is the top waka ama team on the globe, hav­ing won gold at the world cham­pi­onships.

The team won the V12 500m open men’s event and teamed up with the other Kiwi open men’s team Vaku Manu.

Team Pineula also won sil­ver in the premier event, the V6 500m open men’s division.

The 2012 Va’a (Out­rig­ger) World Sprint Cham­pi­onships were held in Cal­gary, Canada from Au­gust 11 to 15.

Team Pineula is part of the Akarana Dragon Sports Club and is based at Taka­puna Beach.

The world ti­tle fol­lows the team’s suc­cess at Easter where teams from all over New Zealand com­peted for a spot at the champs as well as their win in Fe­bru­ary at the 42km Taka­puna Beach Cup In­ter­na­tional Race.

Team mem­ber and city res­i­dent Shan­non Moon, 24, would like to see waka ama be­come more wide­spread.

“It would be great to be pad­dling at the next Olympics and with enough community sup­port that is a high pos­si­bil­ity.”

Fund­ing can be an is­sue, with the men work­ing full­time and fit­ting in train­ing as they can. “Some­times we are up at 4am or 5am just to get the first pad­dle in. You have to be ded­i­cated,’’ he says.

In the im­me­di­ate fu­ture Moon says there will be small races all around New Zealand.

“They will keep us in check but you have to push your­self in­ter­nally a lot.”

Moon, who has been so busy with work he has not been on the wa­ter since ar­riv­ing home, says the ul­ti­mate goal is the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

But he is tak­ing it one day at a time.

“At the mo­ment I am just look­ing for­ward to get­ting back on the wa­ter.”

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