Foodies fast on water
Two Porirua waka ama clubs recently returned from the sprint nationals with a number of medals.
The Hawaiki Nui Tuarua club, who are known by their Don’t Touch my Food moniker, took three junior teams to the event, held at Lake Karapiro near Cambridge from January 15 to 19.
More than 2500 competitors took part from clubs across the country, an increase on previous years.
One of the Don’t Touch my Food coaches, Mandy Hatton, says their paddlers had been training on Porirua Harbour and Pauatahanui Inlet three times a week since September, and it paid off.
The two J16 teams – green and black – combined to win gold in the W12, 500-metre race, while the J16 black crew took silver in both the 500m and 1000m races.
Meanwhile, the intermediate girls waka ama team Rangitopeora from the Toa Waka Ama Club won gold in both the 500m and 1000m races and boys from a team based at Natone Park School won a gold – double hull race – and bronze – W6 1000m – in the intermediate section.
Byron Kelly- Nansen, Site Euta, Samuel Makiiti, Hoani Phillips, Jaylib Takerei and Tamahoukura Gunson were the Natone paddlers.
Hatton says along with the training put in by all the Porirua clubs, the Porirua Canoe and Kayak Club ran two regattas in November to practise racing.
‘‘It provided an opportunity for lessexperienced paddlers to have a go and these were both excellent events. It’s easy to see why this is one of the fastest- growing sports in New Zealand.’’
Medallists: Members of the J16 Don’t Touch my Food (black) crew that won gold in W12 500m and two silver medals are Rino Hagai, Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, Tana Salzmann, Jahnec Taurima, Oliver Smith and Tane Lambie-Harrison.