18th International Va’a Federation World Sprints – New Zealand wrap up!

Now that everyone has their feet back on New Zealand soil we would like to take this time to do a wrap up of the event.

The event started with the Tahitian hosts showing their flair off the water with the fantastic opening ceremony at Fautaua Stadium. The wet weather didn't dampen spirits and we were given a wonderful display of culture and hospitality.

After a long gruelling winter training regime the elite and para and club paddlers were raring to go as day 1 approached. The competition was fierce, from the first day of racing right up until the last race of day 8!

The first part of the official racing kicked off in style with the elite racing, as predicted Tahiti came out strong on their home waters. The elite junior girls raced hard, paddling to gold in their 500m and 1000m (turn) events.

The competition was tough for the elite and junior men, the best of the best out on the water representing their countries. Both teams coming home with silvers for the straight and turns races – just pipped by Tahiti on numerous occasions. Finally, the open women managed to outrace their Tahitian counter parts in the V12 and 500m race but had to accept the silver in the closely fought 1500m event.

Our Para team inspired, winning the V12 race against Tahiti, then backing that up with a V6 1000m gold and silver in the 500m.

Marcus Thompson, Jo Pikia, Jac Courtier and AJ Macdonald brought home gold medals in their V1 events,  Bruce Campbell gained a silver and bronze, and Christine Walters a silver!

The V12 racing was exceptional and fast! The New Zealand Clubs managed to claim 3 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze across all the divisions.

The V1 paddlers raced home with 3 gold, 6 silver and 5 bronze, with a highlight of the day watching the Junior 16 and Junior 19 women’s divisions coming away with a clean sweep of the medals!

Also, a notable performance from Marama Elkington racing to gold in the Open Women’s V1 500m. A title held by Tahiti since 2002.

Day 7 saw the club teams battling it out for the turn race medals. The event concluded on day 8 with a bang as the club teams slogged it out to become the 500m World Champions in their divisions.

Once again, our junior girls were a force to be reckoned with, bringing home nearly all medals on offer in the J16 division and J19 divisions.

Team Taitokerau in the Master 60 Womens division – led by Hilda Halkyard-Harawira - raced to a clean sweep in the 500m, 1000m and V12 500 event.

A huge congratulations to the paddlers, coaches, managers and support crew from Horouta Waka Ama Club. The club was named as the overall club winners taking home 5 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze. This is no mean feat on Tahitian waters – congratulations!

All results can be found here: http://www.ivfiv.org/results1.html

Check out the Waka Ama NZ Facebook page for our NZ photos from the event


We have so many people to thank for their support, hard work, blood, sweat and tears:

All of the elite paddlers – thank you for representing New Zealand well, we are so proud of all your work on and off the water. Thank you for committing yourselves to the campaign.

To the elite coaches and managers below, thank you for all of your hard work in preparing our teams, all of the camps, trainings, transport etc. We cannot thank you enough and also your support networks at home – thank you!

Junior Girls – Sieda Tureia, Penny Scragg

Junior Boys – Maori and Agnes Tere

Open Women – Kiwi Campbell, Florrie Brooking

Open Men – Mark Malaki Williams, Mereana Rennie and Marinna Millanta-Lowrey

Para Va’a - George Thomas, Honoria Ropiha, Angeline Tangiora and Rob Shephard

Thank you to our elite paddle sponsors – the team at Tai Paddles

Thank you to our elite and club wear sponsor – Charles and the team at Strongarm

To all of the club managers, coaches, cooks, mums and dads taking kids to training, nan’s and koro’s looking after younger siblings – THANK YOU!

To all of the club paddlers – congratulations. You represented your clubs well and we are proud of the whole contingent. We know how much work has gone on for the past few months/years so we hope you all get time to have a break and reflect on your journey.

Thank you to our Area Coordination team: Marinna Millanta-Lowrey, Debbie Sellar and Ngahuia Mita.

Thank you to the local organising committee, the Tahitian Federation, the City of Pirae and the President of Tahiti for all of your manaakitanga and hospitality during our stay in Tahiti – it was truly tremendous.

Thank you to the endless volunteers at the event – from the loading bay, to the announcers, marshalling, traffic management, race officials, hospitality crew and everyone involved. Thank you for all of your hard work before, during and after the event. We all had a wonderful experience!

We now look forward too the 2nd IVF Va'a World Distance Champs next August on the Sunshine Coast Australia - for more information regarding New Zealand selections click here

For NZ Medal results and final Elite medal tally - see attached PDF


  1. Worlds wrap up.pdf
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