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NZ's Premier Distance Waka Ama Event is back again

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Takapuna Beach will be buzzing this weekend as over 1400 paddlers from all over Aotearoa and the World hit the Waitematā for an awesome weekend of outrigger canoe racing from the 14th - 16th of February.

The event kicks off this Friday at Takapuna Beach Reserve with a pōwhiri to welcome the outrigger canoe whānau from far and wide, from places such as New York, Hawaii, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Australia, New Caledonia, Arizona - USA and Japan to name a few.

The 5km Friday afternoon event serves as a great warmup race - especially for those teams eager to get familiar with our Aotearoa waters.

Saturday sees the major events take place. 36 crews from women, mixed and mens divisions will tackle the pinnacle event, the 42km changer over race around Rangitoto. These teams, each with their own individual support boat, will navigate around Auckland’s icon Rangitoto, Motutapu and Rakino islands while carrying out changeovers for the duration of the race. Bhutty Boys from Hei Matau Paddlers (Rotorua) will be looking for their 3rd consecutive title in the Open Men’s division.

The 2020 Takapuna Beach Cup will be the first time 21km Iron races will be held, this distance will be amazing to watch with over 70 teams registered for this event. The 21km events are bound to showcase some intense racing with women and mixed teams racing in the morning, followed by the men’s race later in the day.

The final events on Sunday is the exciting 24km relay, and the 10km for the Junior and Novice paddlers. In the relay, teams of 2 or 4 will hit the beach at pace as they alternate laps of an 8km course - which includes a transition just off the beach.

From humble beginnings, thanks to the late Ken Gilbert and the Taniwha Outrigger Canoe club, this event has transformed into a world-class race. Showcasing the amazing hospitality of Auckland’s North Shore. Be sure to come down and check it out!

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