Regionals 2017 round-up and results

And this was it for 2017. Last year’s event was our biggest yet, but 2017 topped it again, with close to 130 races and about 500 paddlers! We need more lanes…

A massive thank you to all officials, helpers and supporters that made this event possible. More than ever before, many of them pulled big hours to make this event happen. In the week leading up to the event, and despite water quality being better than ever before, the lake experienced excessive weed growth, likely due to the very warm weather over many weeks. Many helpers spend days clearing the lake!

Here a list of key officials and helpers:

  • Event organisation: Joern Scherzer, Gaylene Sciascia
  • Race course set-up, venue preparation and infrastructure: Paddy, Kath and the wider team from Wairarapa WACC; generator provided by Lawrence
  • W6 provision and transport: Porirua Canoe Kayak Club, Otaki Waka Hoe, Hawaiki Nui Waka Ama club
  • Finish line officials: Marinna, Petra & Andy Melville, Ani Suitauloa, Roimata Baker, Te Ara Herewini Smiler, Mereana Putaka, and others
  • Start line officials: James Sadler, Lawrence Ammunson-Fyall, Maaike Van Aalst
  • Flag boat officials: Thomas Tawhiri, Piki Emery, Jodie Sommerville
  • Back-up support boat: John Hodges and others
  • Support boat provision: Matt Archer & Mana Kayak Racing Club
  • Loading Bay: Karmen Wallace, and various other helpers to bail from Wairarapa WACC, Toa, PCKC, and Otaki
  • Marshalling/Announcer: Shanara Wallace
  • Registration officials, runner: Pania Haruru, Tam Tanirau, Rodney
  • Race director: Dennis Ngatai & Joern Scherzer
  • W1 weigh-in: Tia Tuuta, Trini Ropata, and others
  • IT pre-event support: Alex Ryder

There are many more, even if not specifically listed above!


Click here to download the full results.

Photos are yet to come. In the next few days please check Hoe Tonga’s facebook page at 

Club trophies

The Club Excellence Award changed hands for the first time in 5 years, this year it was won by Otaki Waka Hoe, with Porirua Canoe Kayak Club in second, and Toa Waka Ama in third.

For the James Hapeta Club Spirit Award, Hoe Tonga implemented a revised approach for selecting a winner. Up to five points were awarded in each of four categories: (1) Ratio of club volunteers vs club entries, as at one week out from the event; (2) whether a club had complete team rosters at the deadlines and/or had late changes to their roster; (3) whether teams were wearing correct uniforms; and (4) attitude, who is going the extra mile over the two race days. The latter two categories were judged by all the key volunteers at the various official stations. Congratulations to Hikoikoi Waka Club for taking out this year’s club spirit award. Hawaikinui Waka Ama Club and Wairarapa Waka Ama Canoe Club were a very close second and third.

Schedule for Regionals Sprints 2017 (updated 6 Dec)

A draft race schedule and lane draw is now available for Regionals 2017.

Be aware that in some cases, some paddlers/teams were shifted into another division to fill up a race. This is marked for each entry, eg Schmidt, Hans (SNR MASTER).

Please note! This year’s number of entries has been unprecedented, with 131 races scheduled, which is A LOT more than last year. For Saturday, this means 75 races, as unfortunately we can only fit four lanes. In order to manage this, here an updated list of key times, with everything commencing 40min earlier than originally scheduled and advised in the race information package.

  • 6.00am – Volunteers meet: event preparation commences; pick up resources for officials stations from registration
  • 6.30am – Weigh in and sign in commences
  • 7.30am – Karakia, race and safety briefing for clubs and competitors
  • 7.45am – Race calls commence, starter and aligner boat head out / all official stations ready for action
  • 8am – Racing commences

We are asking all paddlers and clubs to be very proactive and organized, in order to enable us to manage the order of the day. If paddlers are late to the loading bay, or are missing gear such as lane number holders, officials will not hesitate to load races without those paddlers. Races will not be held back if someone waits for a canoe to come back from a previous race.

Further to the above, please be aware that due to the extensive hot weather period, Henley Lake is experiencing weed growth. We are doing our best to minimise any adverse effects on paddler’s ability to compete.

Click here for further information on this event.


Selection process for Regional W12 at Nationals 2018

The following sets out the process for Hoe Tonga’s selection of the regional W12 that will compete at Nationals 2018. The process applies to both men and women.

Selection will be done by a selector (to be appointed by the Hoe Tonga Board) based on the following:

Step 1: The six paddlers in the W6 that wins the respective open 500m event gain a spot.

Step 2: Selection of the other paddlers will be based on the following:

  • Next 6 fastest times in 250 Dash race (across both J19 and Open dash races).
  • If there are still places to be filled (eg due to an insufficient number of paddlers competing in the dash events), additional paddlers will be selected based on the fastest times in the W1 500m event  (across J19, Open and Master events)
  • If there are still places to be filled, then the decision for the selection of additional paddler(s) will be made by the selector based on any other relevant information.

Role of the selector:

The selector’s role is to select paddlers based on the above process. As it is unlikely that there will be opportunities for the selected team to train together, and the regional W12 race at Nationals is a straight final, the role does not automatically include a coaching capacity (unless otherwise mutually agreed between selected paddlers and the selector). The selector may appoint a team captain, whose role will be to organise the team on race day.


Hoe Tonga is working towards each paddler receiving a race shirt for this event at Nationals 2018.

Inter-club W12 entries for Nationals 2018 (W12 made up by paddlers from 2 clubs)

As per rule 21.7 in the Waka Ama NZ race rules, W12 crews at Nationals can be made up of competitors from up to two clubs from the same region, but only in the following divisions:

  • Midget
  • Intermediate
  • Senior Master
  • Golden Master
  • Master 70

This rule only applies where a club does not have sufficient paddlers to form their own, stand-alone, W12 crews in those age categories.  A W12 crew made up of two clubs may be a combination of any number of paddlers from those two clubs. They must satisfy all other rules as specified in the race rules.

If your club wishes to combine with another club in the above divisions, please take note of the following:

  • The proposed entry will need to be sent to by no later than 12 December. This will ensure that Hoe Tonga has sufficient time to make the entries to meet the Waka Ama NZ timeframes.
  • Entries are to be submitted only by an executive officer of one of the clubs. In the email the relevant executive officer must provide confirmation that (i) both clubs agree on the entry and its name (copy in other relevant executive officers), and (ii) that the entry has been checked by both clubs to comply with relevant rules.
  • Paddler names must be submitted to no later than 31 December 2017. Hoe Tonga will not chase up unfilled rosters – relevant late fees will be passed on to clubs. It is the club’s responsibility to inform Hoe Tonga of the roster, or of any changes to the roster. Paddler names should not be submitted until all paddlers have been checked by the clubs as being on the Waka Ama NZ membership database for their club.

Theft of kiato at Ivy Bay

Please be aware

 A person or persons have been stealing aluminium kiatos’ from Surfrigger canoes.  Over the weekend the aluminium kiatos’ from two of the surfriggers kept at Hawaiki Nui club at Ivey Bay were stolen.  The actual hulls and Amas’ on the waka were left intact.  The thieves are possibly targeting the aluminium to sell as as scrap or possibly to refit another waka.  About this time last year 3 Amas’ from w1’s located at Mana were stolen.  Please be vigilant.

A Waka Odyssey an exciting opportunity

Kei aku rangatira a te hoe, tena koe.
From 23-28 February 2018, the New Zealand Festival with Te Āti Awa / Taranaki whānui iwi present AWaka Odyssey an extraordinary gathering of people from around the Pacific and Aotearoa.

Our nation of voyagers, discoverers, storytellers and innovators will be celebrated with a large-scale public performance on Wellington harbour to open the New Zealand Festival.of Arts

The Opening Event, Kupe will see six waka hourua from around New Zealand and the Pacific,accompanied by waka taua and waka ama, sail into the Wellington harbour to be met by our audience on the shore. Our lead performers will be supported by a mass choir and thousand strong haka made up of local schools, choirs and community groups.
We now need your help in making this special event and seek your registration of interest to be part of the Opening Event.
If you are an experienced W1/V1 paddler, with a desire to be part of this once in a lifetime opportunity
showcasing waka kaupapa to Aotearoa, please complete the online registration by Monday 11th
December 2017. We are looking for 30 volunteer  W1 paddlers. We will respond to all who register their interest by Monday 18th December

Waka Ama Recruitment Brief and EOI Form

Results Hoe Tonga Paddla Series

What a great day in Whanganui, with lots of sun and little wind. Our final race of the Series was well attended, with 21 teams battling it out on the Whanganui River. A big thank you to Te Ringa Miti Tai Heke hosting this final event.

Photos and videos will be shared on facebook as soon as they become available. If you took any on the day, please feel free to post it on our site.

Click here to download the results for Race 4, and the overall series (3 pages).

The category team winners with most points were as follows:

  • Novice: Team Kotahitanga from Otaikokako
  • Junior: Team River Queens from Whanganui OCC
  • Senior: Team Mataroa from Otaikokako

We also presented a new annual club trophy: “He Taonga Kotahitanga”. This trophy is awarded to the club from the Hoe Tonga region that accumulates the most points, based on its best three teams. It was very close, only two points separated first from second. This year He Taonga Kotahitanga was awarded to Porirua Canoe Kayak Club. Congratulations.