Team paddles to silver
Paddlers from Porirua Canoe Kayak Club have carried success at the long distance nationals through to the International Vaka Eiva in Rarotonga.
A contingent of women paddlers, mainly made up of family and close friends, took out the silver medal at the nationals, battling 20-knot winds in Whakatane they had only previously encountered around the back of Mana Island.
Crew member Mereana Hodges said these rough waters held them in good stead for Rarotonga, however, where they collected gold in two of their three events – the open women’s V6 18km race and the open women’s V6 500m sprint.
Hodges also took out silver in the master women’s 12km OC1 race, while some of the women’s crew also combined with their male counterparts and raced in the Round Raro Relay 36km race, and placed third.
The club’s under-14s crew were also successful in Rarotonga, winning bronze medals in the mixed 250m sprint and the 2km lagoon race, while the under-16s also raced well but missed out on a podium finish.
The women and men’s crews for Porirua Canoe Kayak Club are comprised of three sisters, one brother and three in-laws.
Combined with the talent of these crews was the drive to honour a loved one, who recently passed away. Aunty Elma Maua (Arikipuia) was a well-known journalist throughout the Pacific and taking part in Vaka Eiva was a way our whanau could honour her memory,’’ Tere Tulepu-Hodges said.
Club-members now have their sights on the waka ama sprint nationals on Lake Karapiro next month.
Waka women: Members of the Porirua Canoe Kayak Club claimed a number of medals recently, both in New Zealand and overseas. The champion women’s crew, pictured from left, (back row) Mereana Hodges, Teremoana TulepuHodges and Marianna Hodges, (front row) Pania Tahau-Hodges, Marianne Archer, Tina Kearns and Naomi Brooking.