YMP’s first tilt at waka nationals

Gisborne's waka ama presence at Nationals given a boost as YMP throws hoe into the ring.

Gisborne's waka ama presence at Nationals given a boost as YMP throws hoe into the ring.

NATIONAL DEBUT: YMP waka ama paddlers, from left Samara Gordon, D'velle Tarawa, Te Aria Henwood, Johelonn Torea-Taare, Vania Barbarich and Hinemana Lloyd are ready to compete in their first ever national waka ama competition at Lake Karapiro. Pictures by Liam Clayton.
LEADING THE WAY: A double hull crew from top Gisborne waka ama club Horouta show a squad from new contenders YMP how to win in a race during the simulation at Marina Park yesterday. Picture by Liam Clayton.

OUR waka ama clubs will have an even greater presence at the waka ama sprint national championships this month, as YMP will compete there for the first time.

The club will join Gisborne clubs Horouta and Mareikura, and Tolaga Bay crews from the Uawa club in the annual competition at Lake Karapiro.

“It’s pretty fun, exciting, quite buzzy,” said 13-year-old Hinemana Lloyd, who will paddle in YMP’s J-16 squad.

The best experience so far? “Learning how to paddle from world champions.”

YMP president David Jones said the national competition was an exciting chance for many YMP children to compete on the national stage.

“This is the first time paddling in a competition. Many of the kids have never been to a national competition before,” he said.

But competition is not the only focus of the club.

“For us it’s about bringing our kids back to their river, Waipaoa out at Manutuke,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s not just about racing, but all the cultural elements around it, learning about whakapapa, doing the karakia before races.”

A competition simulation event at Marina Park yesterday saw the new club joined by paddlers from Mareikura and Horouta. More than 160 paddlers took to the water in various events.

Horouta do well at the national competition and president Walton Walker does not expect this year to be any different.

“We’re often at the top, followed by Mareikura, so we’re hoping for that same combination this year,” he said.

“It’s a big occasion for us. We don’t just go there to fill places.”

The big occasion will be made even more special with YMP adding another Gisborne club.

“It’s always good to see another club in the region,” Mr Walker said.

Horouta have lent two waka to YMP. Mr Jones expressed his gratitude, noting the expense of buying waka. A single craft costs about $16,000.

Nine crews from Tolaga Bay’s Uawa Tiaki Tai-Hinekura Waka Ama will join the three Gisborne clubs at the national competition on January 16.

OUR waka ama clubs will have an even greater presence at the waka ama sprint national championships this month, as YMP will compete there for the first time.

The club will join Gisborne clubs Horouta and Mareikura, and Tolaga Bay crews from the Uawa club in the annual competition at Lake Karapiro.

“It’s pretty fun, exciting, quite buzzy,” said 13-year-old Hinemana Lloyd, who will paddle in YMP’s J-16 squad.

The best experience so far? “Learning how to paddle from world champions.”

YMP president David Jones said the national competition was an exciting chance for many YMP children to compete on the national stage.

“This is the first time paddling in a competition. Many of the kids have never been to a national competition before,” he said.

But competition is not the only focus of the club.

“For us it’s about bringing our kids back to their river, Waipaoa out at Manutuke,” Mr Jones said.

“It’s not just about racing, but all the cultural elements around it, learning about whakapapa, doing the karakia before races.”

A competition simulation event at Marina Park yesterday saw the new club joined by paddlers from Mareikura and Horouta. More than 160 paddlers took to the water in various events.

Horouta do well at the national competition and president Walton Walker does not expect this year to be any different.

“We’re often at the top, followed by Mareikura, so we’re hoping for that same combination this year,” he said.

“It’s a big occasion for us. We don’t just go there to fill places.”

The big occasion will be made even more special with YMP adding another Gisborne club.

“It’s always good to see another club in the region,” Mr Walker said.

Horouta have lent two waka to YMP. Mr Jones expressed his gratitude, noting the expense of buying waka. A single craft costs about $16,000.

Nine crews from Tolaga Bay’s Uawa Tiaki Tai-Hinekura Waka Ama will join the three Gisborne clubs at the national competition on January 16.

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