A waka ama club who surpassed all odds to claim gold in the mixed section is looking to go back-to-back at the Vaka Eiva in Rarotonga.
Nestled at the base of Mt Taranaki is the Taranaki Outrigging Canoe Club, one of the smallest clubs in the country.
Nathan Tuuta says, “This isn't just a sport to us now, this is our world, our life. Every day in summer, we'd come here and sit by the sea, waiting for someone who wants to go for a paddle.”
The club has been going for a year and runs on a tight budget. The majority of their equipment was donated by a club from Arapuni.
Despite the lack of resources, they still produced great results at their first ever competition at the Vaka Eiva in Rarotonga. They placed first, leading all the other New Zealand teams in the mixed section.
This year, their team consists of some new faces, among them is a European couple, a Canadian couple and a Māori couple.
Next week, the team will be paddling in Rarotongan waters, striving to uphold the mana of the club.