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Long Distance Waka Ama Nationals this weekend

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Waka Ama New Zealand, along with naming sponsor Ports of Auckland and the Auckland Region Outrigger Canoe Association (AROCA) are proud to present the Ports of Auckland Long Distance Waka Ama Nationals 2019 to the shores of Okahu bay this coming Easter Weekend.

The Waitematā harbour will be brimming with waka, with a staggering number of entries for this National Championships. Over 1000 competitors from around Aotearoa representing 57 clubs will be competing over the 2 days of competition.

With support from local iwi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, paddlers will be welcomed to the event on Thursday evening with a pōwhiri at Orākei Marae at 6:30pm.

Friday the 19th will see paddlers compete in Single waka races of 12km or 16km distances with racing commencing at 10:00am

Saturday 20th the team races will take place from 8:00am. Teams of 6 will race over 24km for adults, 12-16km for Juniors and 12km for Para (Adaptive racing).

Chief Executive of Waka Ama NZ, Lara Collins said "We are really looking forward to showcasing the beautiful Waitematā Harbour plus the buzz that the event will bring to Okahu Bay throughout the weekend."

"The Long Distance Nationals is the highlight of our distance season. Paddlers have been training for months for these championships. The marathon event tests their limits physically and mentally and we often see some epic sprints to the finish line for those top placings."

"Entries in the competition are huge, making this our biggest Long Distance Nationals ever and we are guaranteed to see some outstanding performances of athleticism, power and endurance on the water."

Ports of Auckland CEO, Tony Gibson adds "Ports of Auckland are thrilled to be the major sponsor of this years Waka Ama Long Distance Nationals, having over 1000 paddlers competing in waka on the Waitematā will be a stunning sight to see and we wish everyone the best of luck."

The Ports of Auckland Long Distance Waka Ama Nationals will be a qualifying event for the IVF Va’a World Distance Championships held this coming August in Mooloolaba, Australia. Winning 6 person teams (W6) in the J19, Master 40, Master 50, Master 60, Master 70 Women and Men’s divisions will secure their spot to represent Aotearoa New Zealand at the World Championships. Also, up for grabs in those divisions plus the Premier division, is the opportunity to represent Aotearoa in the single person (W1 - Rudderless) events at the World Championships.

Okahu Bay will be bustling with waka ama activity over the Easter Weekend, we welcome anyone and everyone to come down and enjoy the atmosphere and the spectacular scenes that will unfold on the Waitematā.

List of Clubs can be found here: https://wakaama.co.nz/racecalendar/entries/1492/byassociation

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