Trophy feels at home
The trophy for the waka ama club able to accumulate the most points at the sport's sprint national championships is quite at home in Gisborne.
With this year's victory on Lake Karapiro confirmed at the weekend, Horouta Waka Hoe have claimed the shield in nine of the past 10 years.
“It's got used to us looking after it,” Horouta Waka Hoe president Walton Walker said of the shield, which was carved by Mareikura Waka Ama Club stalwart Matahi Brightwell.
Self Storage Gisborne Horouta Waka Hoe finished well ahead on points.
Mareikura had a strong campaign and YMP Waka Ama had their moments.
Over 3900 paddlers from 68 clubs competed in the championships across seven days.
They had 406 races, run by 150 volunteers, and organisers said the meet attracted over 13,000 spectators.
“I was blown away by some of the performances,” Walker said.
He was encouraged by the efforts of boys and girls in the midgets class.
Of the W12 girls crew Hinekahurangi-Ariki, who won their 250 metres championships final, nine of the paddlers were new to the sport.
Intermediate boys' crew Tangata Hianga won three gold medals.
“Overall, it was another great year for the club,” Walker said.
Mareikura coach Raipoia Brightwell said the club didn't take a large number of competitors to the championships but they performed well.
“It was very, very successful, from our point of view.”
The performance of the club's junior-16 boys was a highlight.
Mareikura Ngaa Tama Toa won a gold medal in the W6 500m sprint, silver in the 1000m W12 turn event and silver in the W6 500m.
Horouta crews performed well on the finals-focused final day on Saturday.
Horouta premier women's crew Kaiarahi Toa capped off a strong campaign, winning the W6 500m and the W6 1500m.
The club's premier men's crew, Woolley Kumara, were second in their W6 500m final.
Horouta master men's crew Team Voltron won their W6 500m final.
The senior master women for Horouta, Team Tuia, were third in the W6 1000m and fourth in the W6 500m.
Mareikura Wahine won the golden masters women's W6 1000m and were third in the W6 500m.
The Horouta J19 men's and women's crews were both fifth in their W6 500m finals.
Horouta J19 women's crew Hinetoa were fourth in the W6 1000m and YMP's Hinetu were fifth.
Horouta paddlers got on the podium in W1 250m dash finals.
In the premier women's class, Akayshia Williams was second and Kiwi Campbell fourth.
For the J19 men, Anaru Paenga-Morgan was second.
And in the J19 women, Gaibreill Wainohu was third.
The Ace Cuthers Memorial Club Spirit Award went to Hei Matau from Rotorua.