Well deserved waka ama break
Porirua Canoe Kayak Club’s master women’s team, Taimania, are taking a well-deserved break after their successful summer.
‘‘They can have two weeks off,’’ coach Grant Barriball said.
The next big campaign is the buildup to the world waka ama sprints on the Sunshine Coast, Australia, in May 2016.
Taimania have virtually gone from one big event to another, cleaning up the gold medals each time.
Their run started at the international Vaka Eiva event last November in Raro- tonga, when they swept first place in all three events.
They then defended their national sprints title at Lake Karapiro in January.
Shortly after came victory in the challenging New Zealand changeover 42-kilometre race at Takapuna.
Taimania couldn’t rest, however, until the the national long-distance championships in Whangarei, where they managed to snatch the gold from Auckland only in the last three kilometres of the 42km race.
‘‘We had to battle hard for this one,’’ paddler Pania Tahau-Hodges said. made for an even sweeter victory.
‘‘We were hungry for the win, but knew we needed to keep things strong and controlled throughout. We stuck to our game plan and it paid off.’’
The sprint race and the long-distance race require different strategies and abilities.
Bariball said it was uncommon for a team to hold national titles in both events, so Taimania had proved themselves New Zealand’s top paddlers and should be proud of their achievements.
Taimania waka ama members, from left, Naomi Brooking, Pania Tahau-Hodges, Lynette Tyrrell, Sarah Snow, Tere Hodges-Tulepu and Selena Katene. Elizabeth Savage is absent.