And now for the next stage
Horouta waka ama teams who qualified for the world sprint championships are already looking ahead to that challenge.
The 2020 IVF World Club Sprint Championships will be held in Hilo, Hawaii, from August 19 to 23.
Elite crews compete on August 17 and 18, and races for individual paddlers will be held throughout the week.
Horouta Waka Hoe Club president Walton Walker said not all those who qualified for the world champs would go to Hawaii, but 12 crews were intending to take up the option.
Teams intending to go were from divisions for: J16 girls (two teams), J16 boys, J19 girls, J19 boys, premier women, premier men, master women, master men (two teams, one as part of a 12-man double-hull crew), senior master women and senior master men.
Walker expects Horouta to be one of the best-represented clubs in Hawaii. At the last world champs, in Tahiti in 2018, Horouta were named the top club on points. On the Sunshine Coast in 2016, organisers gave no award for top point-scoring club, but Horouta had amassed enough points to have claimed one.
Looking back on a national sprints regatta in which the club won the top points award for the ninth time in the 10 years of its presentation, Walker said some performances stood out.
“In the premier women's division, you expect Kiwi Campbell's Kaiarahi Toa team to do what they did — win three gold medals — as if it were just another day at the office,” he said.
“But they had an interrupted campaign in the lead-up to the championships, and twin sisters Cory and Kodi Campbell were living out of town and doing their own training. They hadn't done any team work until the last couple of weeks.
“Some might have felt they needed a bit more work as a team.”
But the individual races early in the regatta were promising. Team members Akayshia Williams, Cory Campbell and Kiwi Campbell finished first, second and third respectively in the W1 500 metres. By the business end of the week, Kaiarahi Toa were winning their races in dominant fashion.
Premier men's team Woolley Kumara flew under the radar, but ended up with silver medals in the W12 and W6 500m races and fourth place in the W6 1500.
“They performed beyond expectations,” Walker said.
For much of their build-up only three or four members of the team were able to train together.
“Their results reflect how good they are as paddlers,” Walker said.
“Had they been able to train as a full team, they could have cleaned up.”
At the other end of the scale in terms of experience were the midget girls' team coached by Rangi-Riana Williams and Gaibreill Wainohu.
“They had two first-time coaches and came top of their division,” Walker said.
“Nine of the 12 had never paddled before. Kiwi Campbell watched them and said how they kept in time was incredible for a new group. Paddling the way they did reflected hugely on their coaches.”
Master men's crew Team Voltron, coached by Richard Campbell, went one better than last year's winning effort in the double-hull W12 500. This year they were again part of the winning W12 team, and won the W6 500m to boot.
“The club had three teams in the master men's division and they trained really hard,” Walker said.
“They worked together and pushed each other. As a squad they could all take some credit for those medals.”
Gold: Tangata Hianga (intermediate men) W12 500, W6 500, W6 500 (turn); Mairangi's Tane's (J16 men) W12 500; Puhi Kaiariki (J16 women) W12 500, W6 1000; Team Voltron (master men) W6 500; Paikea Masters (master men) W12 500; Akayshia Williams (premier women) W1 500; Kaiarahi Toa (premier women) W12 500, W6 1500, W6 500; Hinekahurangi-Ariki (Taitamaahine — midget girls) W12 250, W6 250; Darius Apanui-Nepe (under-23 men) W1 500; YMP-Horouta (Taitama — midget boys) W12 250.
Silver: Hinepukohurangi (int women) W6 500 (turn); Mairangi Campbell (J16 men) W1 500; Te Aomihia Pewhairangi (J16 women) W1 500; Puhi Kaiariki (J16 women) W1 500; Anaru Paenga-Morgan (J19 men) W1 250; Woolley Kumara (premier men) W12 500, W6 500; Cory Campbell (premier women) W1 500; Akayshia Williams (premier women) W1 250; Beauden Barrett (Taitama) W6 250; Hinetakawhiti (Taitamaahine) W6 250.
Bronze: Hinepukohurangi (int women) W6 500; Gaibreill Wainohu (J19 women) W1 500, W1 250; Grant Donaldson (master men) W1 500; Kiwi Campbell (premier women) W1 500; Ko Wai To Papa (senior master men) W12 500; Team Tuia (senior master women) W6 1000; Jessica Terekia (under-23 women) W1 500.