Tauranga Moana Outrigger Canoe Club paddlers hit good form at the Waka Ama World Distance Championships on the Gold Coast.
The event was held at Mooloolaba and tested crews and individuals over a 20km course last month. Tauranga's Lesley Howat was part of the New Zealand team that won the women's 70 V6 race while Paora Howe was in the men's crew that placed fourth.
Liz Tane won silver in the women's 60 V1 event while the crew of Tane, Gaylene Macfarlane, Moira Rauputu, Bev Murray, Kat Berntsen and Maria Collier won bronze in the women's 60 V6 race.
Macfarlane says all the hard yards training in the dark on the Tauranga Harbour paid off.
"The event was great and long distance is hard, you have to put in the yards. It was really cold over there and not what we expected. It was choppy and sloppy rather than big waves. I think that suited us as it is like our harbour conditions.
"We just tailed the Aussie ladies, they just took off, so we followed their lines. We had tides, swells and wind to contend with so it was tough."
"It was choppy and sloppy rather than big waves. I think that suited us as it is like our harbour conditions."
The Tauranga crew finished behind winners Australia and second-placed Canada.
"It was a triangle course, so we had cross winds to deal with and it was hard to get any further ahead, but we maintained it the whole way.
"We were happy, considering we were made up from all over the country which meant limited training."
MacFarlane says the team are happy they had time to paddle and each event provides a different challenge.
"Every race and every location is different and with that kind of event, more time as a crew together would be an advantage."
There is no rest for a good chunk of the Tauranga contingent as they are already preparing for the Waka Ama New Zealand Sprint Championships at Karapiro in January.
The next Waka Ama World Distance Championships will be held in Samoa in 2021.