Club Racing has started

Active over 60, Waka Ama

Our journey to the venue is like a trip through history. It’s a bit like passing through Hogwarts. I can certainly see where some of the imagery came from for the Harry Potter series. We pass through Eton College campus on our way to Eton Wick, via roads like Keats Lane and past the Silversmiths Court.

Liz & Sonia get 4th in their singles finals!

Our very own Liz Webster got 4th in MW70 V1 singles. We are soooo proud of her. Our Masters 60 women, Open women and masters 50 women all got through to the finals of their W12 races.

Ngahieki (Sonia) Stewart got 4th in MW 60 V1. Sonia paddled with us at Maitahi a few years ago and really encouraged me to get into sprinting.

Club racing is now underway

The elite racing has now finished and club racing is in full swing. It seems more like our National Sprints now with a wide variety of uniforms. Some countries stick with their country shirts but Aotearoa club crews are all sporting their own uniforms. It’s great to see the familiar colours.

We found out when we were in the registration tent that the Hawaiians have to wear their ‘country’ colours. They are really surprised to see us in all different club colours once the elite racing has finished.

Fridays racing

Friday morning we donned Aratika blue in to race in the W12 with a master womens 60 crew from Hauraki. It was a good race once we settled in. We came fifth which is not too bad for paddling in Masters 60. We weren’t last which was gratifying:)

Matching Bronze for ‘our boys’ in W12

In the last race of the day on Friday our very own Pete Bywater and Jeff Nielsen were in the MM60 W12 crew from Horouta who came 3rd and won bronze. Well done.

This was matched with a bronze for the rest of the crew who paired with the MM50 crew from Horouta on Saturday. It was amazing to to watch the race. The finishes are so tight it’s often hard to tell who placed where.

Master mens 60 W12 bronze with our Pete and Jeff.
Master mens 50 W12 bronze to Horouta/Krakens mixed crew.

Bronze for our open womens W12 crew

Our crews have been combining with other clubs to make up w12 crews. Our open womens crew paired with Hei Matau and won bronze in the w12.

Some of you might recognize Erina in there. She has paddled in Motueka with Todd and came down for a Lakes race a couple of years ago.

1st in our turns heat

We were very happy with 1st in our heat for the MW70 turns heat. There were 3 heats and ours was the slowest so we really need to pick up our game if we are to do well today in the semis. A top Hawaiian crew DQ’d in our race – I am not sure what happened, but they are gutted. Everyone else got through to the semis which seems strange, but that is how the progressions go. Our race is around 1:30pm to day – in the full heat of the day.

It was such a blast to come off the course and be greeted by so many of our paddling whānau. Lots of singing and hugging from Aratika blue, Taranaki gold and Aotearoa Black. Thanks so much for the welcome home – I just hope we can bring it again today.

There is so much noise from the the crews around us and from the screaming on the bank (thanks) that it’s really hard to hear calls on the waka. I’m pleased we are only doing one turn at the far end where the noise is less!

The heat is phenomenal

I have heard from my friend in Hawaii that the Hawaiians are struggling with the heat as we are. We have found ourselves a place well away from the main paddlers tent which is overcrowded, stuffy and hot. We are all aware that Covid is still a big danger for us. Very few people wear masks here at the venue or in town. Supermarkets still require masks to be worn although I haven’t even been to the supermarket.

Umbrellas are the best. These supporters can sure yell loud:)

It’s really nice to have a late start today. It’s our first since we got here!

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