Hodges still top pad­dler

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT -

Porirua waka ama pad­dler Mar­i­anna Hodges claimed top honours in the Aotearoa Aito race in Auck­land on March 7, de­fend­ing her ti­tle for the third suc­ces­sive year.

Hodges, 28, faced tough com­pe­ti­tion, but proved too strong on the up­wind leg of the rud­der­less waka race.

‘‘We’re lucky with the wa­ter we get to train on here in Porirua,’’ Hodges said. ‘‘ We pad­dle in the wind and big wa­ter all the time and it pre­pares us re­ally well for when we have to com­pete away from home.

‘‘We can pretty well cope with most con­di­tions.’’

Hav­ing won the Aito race, Hodges will fly to Tahiti in July to com­pete at the in­ter­na­tional Aito race, one of the big­gest events on the in­ter­na­tional race cal­en­dar for W1 pad­dlers.

‘‘ It’s an amaz­ing race be­cause you get to line up against more than 300 of the world’s best pad­dlers,’’ Hodges said.

‘‘This will be my third time at this event and I’m hop­ing to im­prove on my fourth place from last year.’’

Be­fore Tahiti, Hodges will be part of a 48-strong Porirua Ca­noe Kayak Club team at the New Zealand long dis­tance na­tion­als next month.

‘‘Our club is train­ing hard and look­ing for­ward to rep­re­sent­ing Porirua at na­tion­als,’’ Hodges said.

This year the event will be in Whangarei over Easter.

Suc­cess­ful pair: Porirua pad­dler Mar­i­anna Hodges, right, win­ner of the Aotearoa Aito, with run­ner-up Rosie King.

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