Bay of Islands paddlers who won a swag of medals at the Vaka Eiva waka ama championships in Rarotonga will be welcomed home this evening. The powhiri will start at 6pm at Hiruharama Hou Marae in Te Tii.
Kaihoe o Ngati Rehia founder Danny Kaiawe said the aim was to welcome the club's competitors home and celebrate their successes.
Among the standout results were the J16 boys, whose training had included a three-day paddle from Maitai Bay to Whangarei, came first in the 6km, 4km and 500m races. Competing against the J19 teams they finished third and fourth in the two 12km races they competed in.
Many other club members came home with medals, including Mr Kaiawe, Kerikeri policeman Rob Cameron, and Clayton and Rosina Wikaira. Kingi Herewini, who took out the waka ama prize at the Northland Sports Awards last week, joined a Tahitian invitational team which won two long-distance races and came second in another.
Co-founder Tuppy Kaiawe said the young paddlers would not rest on their laurels because they would start training straight away for the nationals at Karapiro in January.