After seven weeks of hard training on the river behind Turangawaewae Marae, 24 of our rangatahi represented Ngā Taiātea Wharekura at the Te Wananga o Aotearoa National Secondary School Waka Ama Championships in March at Tikitapu, Rotorua.
Training were intense and focused, preparing the teams to be in the best position to get medals.
On Tuesday, 20 March, stunning weather greeted us for the first day of racing. Tuesday is W12 day. Teams have to be mixed. Our Ngā Taiātea Teina team (U16s) finished fourth in their heat behind some very good competition. The team progressed to the Champ semis, finishing fifth; narrowly missing out on a spot in the finals. The Ngā Taiātea Tuakana team (U19s) finished second in their heat, securing a place in the Champ semi where they finished third. In the finals, they finished a very creditable seventh place.
Wednesday to Friday the competition came down to the W6 races; 250m straight and 500m turn race. Our U16 Kotiro team progressed to the Champ semis for both the 250m and 500m races. They qualified for the champ final for the 250m, where they finished seventh. The U16 Tama and the U19 Kotiro both progressed to the champ semi’s for both the 250m and the 500m races. The U19 Tama progressed to the champ semi for the 250m and the placed first in the Plate Final for the 500m.
A big thank you to everyone who supported our paddlers in their fundraising to get them to Nationals.