HUNDREDS of hours of training on Gisborne rivers reaped golden reward today for members of Horouta crew Kaiarahi Toa at the world waka ama championships in Canada this morning (NZ time).
The crew won the open women’s W6 500 metres title and two of its members — Vesna Radonich and Kiwi Campbell — were also in the medals in the open women W1 500 earlier in the day.
Radonich won gold and Campbell, who coaches Kaiarahi Toa, bronze in a thrilling W1 final. Only 1.14 seconds separated the top three, with Campbell just one one-hundredth of a second behind the silver medallist.
Later in the day, Kaiarahi Toa underlined their status as the crew to beat with a 2.18sec victory in the W6 500. Radonich and Campbell won gold alongside Alex Sinclair, Jackie Apiata, Bess Halley and Rachel Williams.
Mareikura club member Sinclair was also in the medals in a New Zealand 1-2-3 in the junior 16 women’s W1 500. Clubmate Akayshia Williams was second and Sinclair third. The race was won by Marama Elkington.
There were W1 silver medals also for Vicki Flavell in the golden master women’s division and Tony Tapp in the senior master men’s final.
Flavell was a distant 14 seconds behind the Hawaiian winner while Tapp was just over 4secs back from a Canadian paddler.
Horouta teenager Te Amohia Walker was fourth in the junior 19 women’s W1 500 final. She won a W12 500 silver yesterday as part of an Auckland-based crew.
Mareikura crew Aotearoa Team Tairawhiti won silver in the senior master women’s W6 500, 2.18secs behind the winning crew from Hawaii.