Waka ama team brings back gold
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.”