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Talent depth borne out by sprint results

GISBORNE’S depth of talent was underlined as W12 titles were decided on Day 5 of the waka ama sprint nationals on Lake Karapiro yesterday.

The Horouta Waka Hoe juggernaut continued its surge towards top overall club honours and there was also regional success for Gisborne paddlers.

The day ended with Te Uranga o Te Ra — an area from the top of the East Coast to Wairoa — winning the premier women’s regional W12 500. The crew were almost entirely Gisborne paddlers ranging from the junior 16 age group to masters (over 40).

Comprising mostly Horouta club members, TUOTR finished 2.2 seconds ahead of Te Puku o Ika, with Auckland third.

Horouta paddlers filled all 12 places in the TUOTR premier men’s regional W12 500 race that Auckland won from Te Puku o Ika, with TUOTR third.

Horouta added two W12 500 gold-medal finishes, two silvers and a bronze to its coffers yesterday.

Kaiarahi Toa won the premier women’s straight final by nearly three seconds and Eastland Whitewash Helis won the junior 19 men’s title by a similar margin.

Woolley Kumaras were third in the premier men’s final, Ohinewaiapu were second in the J19 women — just 0.14 of a second behind the winners — and Nga Kopara/Hineteuru were second in the master women.

Mareikura picked up two more medals. Its Hei Tiare crew were third in the J19 women’s final and Hiva were third in the J19 men’s final.

A combined Te Uranga o Te Ra crew, featuring Gisborne paddlers, were third in the golden master women’s final.

Today’s final day of the nationals features W6 finals from J19 age group up, and culiminates in the glamour J19 and premier 250m dash races.