The Chater family is making a splash in the world of rafting.

Nick, his wife Kimi and daughters Tenaya, 18, and Ani, 15, who live at Okere Falls, are flying to Japan this week to represent New Zealand at the World Rafting Championships.

Nick is in the masters men's team, Kimi the masters women's team and Tenaya and Ani the under-19 women's team, which Nick coaches.

Rafters have to be 16 to compete at the world championships and Ani just scraped in as her birthday is on the day of the first race.

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Nick said rafting had been his world for "a long, long time".

"Getting into racing has been a big part of my life, for the last 10 years I've been part of the New Zealand make up. Kimi's been with the women's team since 2013, so it's been a big part of our lives and to suddenly have our kids involved is great.

"The biggest reason I'm really proud of the girls is they're not just in the team because I'm their dad, it's because they have the strength and the skills to be there. They earned the right to be there after doing a qualifier in the South Island," he said.

At the championships, which run from October 6 to 9 on the Yoshino River on the island of Shikoku, there are medals available for sprint, head-to-head, slalom and down river disciplines. Teams also earn points in each race which go towards the overall placings.

Both the New Zealand masters men's and masters women's teams are the defending world champions.

INTENSE: The New Zealand Masters Men's team in action at the 2013 World Rafting Champs on the Kaituna River. PHOTO/FILE
INTENSE: The New Zealand Masters Men's team in action at the 2013 World Rafting Champs on the Kaituna River. PHOTO/FILE

"Each race is worth more points, so by the time you get to the down river, that's worth the most points. Basically what it means is you often don't know who will win until the last day.

"In New Zealand it's not a big sport, but internationally it's massive - the Japanese have been fully professional for 10 years. It's a sport they're trying to get into the Olympics," Nick said.

Tenaya was a member of the under-19 women's team that raced at the 2015 world championships in Indonesia where things did not go to plan.

Indonesia had experienced flooding which meant the water was dirty and most of the team ended up sick.

TOP RAFTERS: The Chater family, Ani, left, Kimi, Tenaya and Nick, have all qualified to represent New Zealand at the World Rafting Championships in Japan. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
TOP RAFTERS: The Chater family, Ani, left, Kimi, Tenaya and Nick, have all qualified to represent New Zealand at the World Rafting Championships in Japan. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

"This time we've done a lot more training than we did for Indonesia and we know what to expect.

"We all want to win, but if we don't, as long as we gave it our best and gave ourselves the best chance of winning. When we were sick we couldn't give our full but this time we can," she said.

Ani was dead set on trying out for the team, having watched the rest of her family compete in the past.

"I do really like rafting when we just did it for fun, but I was a bit jealous when they all got to compete in the last one, so I wanted to see if I could do it.

"At the start we did one or two trainings a week and now it's up to four, and we do our own personal training on the other days," Ani said.

Nick said he and Kimi never pushed their children into the sport.

"When I said let's get a team together for these world champs Ani asked if she could try for the team and I said 'absolutely'. I thought she wouldn't make it because she was the youngest and told her not to expect too much, but she's trained really hard and I'm really proud of her to have got the fitness and physicality to be there," he said.

Kimi said the family often trained in trying conditions after long days at work and school and she was proud of the resilience her daughters had shown.

Nick said he was "a bit worried" about being the girls' coach as well as their dad.

"We just have a rule, when I'm coaching I'm not your dad. I've actually loved it, I think it's brought us closer together and it's been really nice.

"We go out in the worst, crappiest, rainiest nights and these girls go out and train. They've been hearty - they've had a bit of sickness and sore shoulders and things, it's not easy but they keep going."

The family would not have been able to travel to the world champs without the support of the Okere Falls community.

"Some locals out there have really helped all of us and we wouldn't have got there without them, as a family we wouldn't have been able to afford it. So we are really thankful for the support of some really good people and all the team sponsors," Nick said.

New Zealand teams competing at the World Rafting Championships in Japan

Under-19 Women:
Annaliese Heuval (Rotorua)
Ani Chater (Okere Falls)
Bella Uhl (Okere Falls)
Georgia Dobbe (Rotorua)
Kelsey Eames (Mangaweka/Rotorua)
Tenaya Chater (Okere Falls)
Te Waia Nuku (Napier)

Masters Women:
Alana Whiteman (Okere Falls)
Kimi Chater (Okere Falls)
Kylie Laxton-Blinkhorn (Rotorua)
Meta Faber (Rotorua)
Miriam Odlin (Mourea)
Raanj Rapana (Whakatane)
Roni Nuku (Napier)

Masters Men:
Dai Edwards (Rotorua)
John Snook (Okere Falls)
Myka Nuku (Napier)
Nick Chater (Okere Falls)
Paul Eames (Mangaweka)
Troy Dolman (Mt Maunganui)
Tim Marshall (Murchison)

Under-23 Men:
Tom Dobbe (Rotorua)
Ben Dobbe (Rotorua)
Max Dobbe (Rotorua)
James Wilkins (Te Puke)
Ryan Wilkins (Te Puke)
Henry Carr (Rotorua)
Shaun Cox (Rotorua)