March 24, 2021
Blue Lake bustling with waka ama school national
1800 paddlers from more than 120 schools in Te Ika a Maui and one from Motueka are at Tikitapu, the Blue Lake, just out of Rotorua this week for the waka ama secondary schools national.
Lara Collins from Waka Ama New Zealand says the vibe is awesome and it's one of the most beautiful venues in the world for racing.
Interest in the sport is growing, and at Kaipara College, which took out two finals yesterday, it's the biggest participation sport.
She says it's hard to pick an overall winner.
"The schools that are looking quite strong are Kaipara College obviously, Manurewa High School, St Pat's Silverstream, Gisborne Boys, Gisborne Girls High School, Lytton in Gisborne. There schools where there are strongholds of waka ama clubs do quite well. There's so many teams here it's hard to call and the finals tomorrow will be exciting," she says.
The next major waka ama event is the long distance nationals in Picton on Anzac weekend, which already has 1000 paddlers registered.
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