Hodges still top paddler
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.