Waka ama teams around New Zealand are talking about competing in the next Queen Lili’oukalani in Hawaii after the University of Auckland team’s silver medal in the race recently.
The race off the island of Hawai’i and based in the township of Kailua Kona, is the largest long distance waka ama race in the world at 30km, has taken place for the past 44 years, and involves about 2500 paddlers from around the world each year.
The University team, Ngā Tauira Māori (NTM) was the first University team from Aotearoa to take part in the race, and made a big impression on the race organisers who are keen to see the team back next year.
The team put in a fantastic performance and were only ten minutes behind the mixed gold medal winners. The successful NTM mixed team included Noenoe Barclay-Kerr, Janell Dymus, Te Ra Hodges-Tai, Ngahuia Ormsby, Tamoko Ormsby, Waimirirangi Stone, Apenti Tamanui-Fransen, and Tai Stephens.