What's happened: Waka Ama team takes gold in Hawaii

Students from the Faculty of Engineering won gold in an international waka ama race at the end of August.

Eight of our students from the Faculty of Engineering represented the University at the end of August in the annual Queen Lili’uokalani Memorial Canoe race, held off the island of Kona, Hawaii. Considered the largest long-distance outrigger canoe race in the world, they competed against international crews in open-water, paddling 18 miles (30km) in the Hawaiian heat. The team won gold for the second consecutive year and beat their winning time from last year by 22 minutes. 

They won this expenses-paid trip after winning the University's Great Waka Ama Race in March, where they competed against seven other faculties.

The University race started and finished at Takapuna Beach, where teams paddled five kilometres from Takapuna to Rangitoto Island, ran a return eight kilometres to the summit and then paddled back to Takapuna Beach.

It was a team of Engineering students who also won the 2016 race, before going on to win two gold medals in Hawaii this time last year. With five of the eight team members returning for a second time, for paddlers Sarah Carson, Jessica Retter and Vaoala Enesa it was their first chance to paddle in an international competition.

The team trained and competed in local competitions in preparation for the Hawaii Race.

Georgia Naera and Sarah Carson documented their trainings, team bonding, and competitions through the University blog, The Inside Word. Follow along to go behind the scenes with the team!

Meet the team

The Great Waka Ama Race

Take a look back at the 2017 Great Waka Ama Race and watch the Engineering team earn their prize trip to Hawaii. 

Sign up for 2018

Interested in paddling in the 2018 Great Waka Ama Race? Fill out your details via the link below for your chance to compete in Hawaii next year!