Waka ama ri­vals won’t give an inch

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

The Turi Hodges-Grant Bar­rib­all ri­valry will re­sume at the waka ama sprint na­tion­als this week.

The two Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club pad­dlers fin­ished a close first and sec­ond in the masters men’s 500- me­tre race at Lake Kara­piro last year. Bar­rib­all is keen to avenge the loss this time around.

‘‘ I’m con­fi­dent, but Turi has been go­ing re­ally well this year, so I know his prepa­ra­tion has been good,’’ Bar­rib­all said. ‘‘It should be a good race and you can bet there’ll be no inch given.’’

Bar­rib­all said for­mer na­tional and world cham­pion Richard Pehi would be hard to beat, too.

More than 3000 pad­dlers in 10 age di­vi­sions from 61 clubs will de­scend on Kara­piro near Cam­bridge for the event, which runs un­til Satur­day.

Porirua will have four clubs at­tend­ing – Hawaiki Nui Tuarua Waka Ama, Mana Pasi­fika Outrig­ger Ca­noe Club, Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club and Toa Waka Ama Club.

Bar­rib­all said the fa­cil­i­ties and at­mos­phere were in­cred­i­ble and the more than 100 pad­dlers and sup­port­ers from his club looked for­ward to sprint na­tion­als be­cause of it.

This year they have pitched in for a chef to pre­pare food for them so par­ents can cheer on the pad­dlers.

‘‘It’s a sport that can in­volve the whole fam­ily and there’s a lot of com­mit­ment from par­ents, coaches and man­agers. For me, it’s about catch­ing up with mates and when I’m not com­pet­ing I try to re­lax a bit.’’

Bar­rib­all coaches his part­ner Se­lena’s crew in the masters women’s sec­tion. They were sur­prise win­ners of the 500m race last year, so would have tar­gets on their backs this time, he said.

Bar­rib­all’s son, Cody, will com­pete in the open di­vi­sion.

The 50- year- old said he had been try­ing to pull back from com­pet­ing in the sport he took up 12 years ago but be­ing on the wa­ter and com­pet­ing at a high level had a hold over him.

Th­ese days it was more about tak­ing a smarter ap­proach than spend­ing hours in the waka or at the gym.

‘‘I read a book by [fa­mous run­ning coach] Arthur Ly­di­ard and I’ve taken on a lot of his ideas. I’ve adapted his meth­ods to my train­ing and in my coach­ing and they seem to be work­ing.

‘‘To do this sport at the level I wanted, I would have to quit work and Se­lena would be by her­self, but that’s not go­ing to hap­pen.’’

Other big events on Bar­rib­all’s radar this year are the Taka­puna Beach Cup in Fe­bru­ary and poss- ibly the long-dis­tance na­tion­als in Whangarei in April. He hopes to at­tend the world sprint champs in 2016.

At the na­tion­als, the ju­niors and se­niors will be rac­ing to­day and to­mor­row, with the adults tak­ing to the wa­ter from Thurs­day un­til Satur­day.

Re­sults and pho­tos at wakaama.co.nz.


Wa­ter-borne: Porirua waka ama pad­dler Grant Bar­rib­all will be among the ones to watch at this week’s sprint na­tion­als.

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