Waka ama team win at Kai­teri­teri

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

A waka ama team from the Porirua-based Mana Pasi­fika club won the six-man open race at the Waka te Tas­man meet in Kai­teri­teri re­cently.

In a close bat­tle, Team Makaira-In­ter­is­lander snared the ti­tle from lo­cal crew The Motueka Men, who had been cham­pi­ons for the past three years.

‘‘They had re­cently come fourth in the long-dis­tance na­tion­als. This was a good team to beat,’’ Makaira mem­ber Jo­ern Scherzer said.

From Novem­ber 19 to 25, Mana Pasi­fika had three teams com­pet­ing in the Vaka Eiva event in Raro­tonga. Grant Bar­rib­all, Piki Emery and Scherzer also com­peted in the sin­gles events, with the lat­ter earn­ing a fourth in the open men’s 18 kilo­me­tre race.

Bar­rib­all came fourth in the masters men’s 12km race, and Emery fin­ished 11th in the se­nior masters 12km event. In the six-man event over 18km around the is­land, Team Makaira were sixth in their sec­tion, and the Mana Kokiri (masters women) beat a much­fan­cied Hawai­ian team into sec­ond to se­cure the ti­tle.

The Mana Menz (masters) crew made it a dou­ble vic­tory by win­ning their fi­nal.

In the open women’s 500-me­tre sprint, Te Karere a Arikipuia from Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club took the hon­ours, with Mana Kokiri in fourth.

Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club also man­aged a num­ber of other top 10 fin­ishes.

A com­bined Mana Pasi­fika/Wahine team came sec­ond in the open mixed 12km race.

Scherzer said Team Makaira are all ex­pe­ri­enced pad­dlers, but only came to­gether as a team in Au­gust last year.

Four of them live in Porirua and the rest are from the Welling­ton re­gion.

The team draws on the best pad­dlers in the area in or­der to be com­pet­i­tive at na­tional and in­ter­na­tional level, Scherzer said.

Most team mem­bers train ev­ery day, ei­ther in­di­vid­u­ally or as a team, es­pe­cially the lat­ter as their sum­mer ‘‘sea­son’’ draws near.

Scherzer said he puts in up to 80km a week on the wa­ter, plus gym and car­dio work­outs. He said their per­for­mance in Raro­tonga was ‘‘a mixed bag’’ – one team mem­ber was hit by an­other boat dur­ing the event – but the win at Kai­teri­teri was huge for Team Makaira.

‘‘It’s the most im­por­tant long-dis­tance event in the South Is­land and at­tracts most South Is­land teams and some from the North Is­land,’’ he said.

‘‘It was tight, with the win­ning mar­gin less than 20 sec­onds over 21km.’’

The Motueka Men had a lead of 150m in the fi­nal stage, but about half­way into the leg Scherzer said his team be­gan to gel, and over­took their ri­vals in the fi­nal stretch.

Go­ing hard: Taken mid-race, this shot shows the crew work­ing hard dur­ing their race at Kai­teri­teri in Novem­ber.

Team Makaira-In­ter­is­lander: This group of Welling­ton pad­dlers, four of whom live in Porirua, train in the wa­ter off Ngati­toa Do­main and are eye­ing the na­tion­als in Jan­uary at Lake Kara­piro with op­ti­mism. From left, Jack Wormald, Dave Ryde, Jo­ern Scherzer, Matt Archer, Taawhana Chad­wick and Bjorn Agnew.

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