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Last medal blast

THE Aotearoa national waka ama sprint championships culminated in a massive day of finals on Lake Karapiro today.

And Tairawhiti paddlers, particularly members of the Horouta Waka Hoe club, were playing a major role in 29 back-to-back finals, which started at 8.30 this morning.

Club members of Horouta, Mareikura and YMP were involved in a large number of age group finals — Horouta has 21 final berths and the prospect of adding to its already large points tally as it defends the overall club trophy.

Yesterday was devoted predominantly to W6 and W12 heats and semifinals in junior 19 to 70yrs and over age groups.

There were several finals as well, with Horouta and Mareikura enjoying success.

For Horouta, Paikea Masters crew won the masters men's W12 500 metres final and the crack Kaiarahi Toa premier women's crew won their W12 500 final, finishing 2.23 seconds clear of the chasing pack.

The Woolley Kumara crew kept the legacy going with second in the premier men's W12 500 final, less than a second behind winners Team Pineula of Akarana.

Horouta and Mareikura combined forces in the senior master women's W12 500. The Horouta Team Tuia/Mareikura crew collected silver.

Tairawhiti paddlers were also part of Te Uranga o te Ra crews in the premier reigonal W6 1500 races. Te Uranga o te Ra were second in the women's race won by Te Puku o te Ika.

Tairawhiti paddlers have also been competing successfully for other clubs.

Horouta went into today with a huge overall points lead. They were on 252.5, with Manukau Outrigger Canoe Club a distant second on 104.5. Mareikura were seventh on 76.5 and YMP 14th on 50.

The champs come to a fittingly exciting close this afternoon with the junior 19 and premier men's and women's 250m dash races.

Home James: Tane Uehaa senior masters men's crew member James Blackburne leads the turn in a W6 race on the penultimate day of the Aotearoa national waka ama sprint championships at Lake Karapiro. Today was the last day and featured 29 finals over junior 19 to over 70s age groups. It culminates in 250-metre dash races for junior 19 and premier men and women this afternoon. Picture by Garrick Cameron