Golden haul at waka ama champs


A crew of fe­male waka ama gold medal­lists made a pledge a decade ago to try to re­peat their wins at a fu­ture world cham­pi­onship. Now they’ve done it. Whitby pad­dler Anita Tag­gart was part of a mas­ters crew that won three gold medals when New Zealand hosted the bi­en­nial world champs in 2006.

Tag­gart and sev­eral other pad­dlers from that team have just re­turned from Aus­tralia’s Sun­shine Coast with gold medals in the same events they won in 2006.

The women, who come from all over the North Is­land, won the world ti­tle in the mas­ters women’s W12, a 12-per­son race in which two ca­noes are lashed to­gether.

W6 crews fea­tur­ing Tag­gart also won the se­nior mas­ters women’s 500m sprint and 1000m events.

Tag­gart’s hus­band, Rob, pad­dled with the Mana Pasi­fika Club’s se­nior mas­ters crew that won the 1000m bronze medal.

New Zealand crews com­pleted a good haul in Aus­tralia, even sur­pass­ing that of waka ama pow­er­house Tahiti’s num­ber of medals.

De­spite the Tag­garts’ suc­cesses, the flat­wa­ter races are not their pre­ferred style of waka ama. They re­ally en­joy marathon pad­dles of 30km or more, in the big swells way out to sea.

‘‘You get to do a bit of surf­ing,’’ Anita said.

They’ve both won medals in marathon events and will com­pete in the long-dis­tance na­tion­als off Tau­ranga in Septem­ber.

Mean­while, Porirua pad­dler Grant Bar­rib­all won a bronze in the se­nior mas­ters V1 500 and an­other in the V6 1000m race on the Sun­shine Coast.

The team he coaches, Mana Pasi­fika Tai­ma­nia V6 women, were fifth in the mas­ters women’s 500 and in the open V12 500.


Rob and Anita Tag­gart, with the medals they won at the world waka ama champs on Aus­tralia’s Sun­shine Coast.

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