A women's senior masters team are creating Bay waka ama history, qualifying for the world sprint championships in Rio de Janeiro.

The team from the Heretaunga Ararau O Ngati Kahungunu Waka Ama Roopu, based opposite the rowing club on the Clive River, have qualified for the waka ama world sprint championships in Rio in August.

The team are busy trying to raise funds for the trip by bringing a taste of South American carnival to the Bay.

The event, on Friday June 20 from 7pm at the Elwood Function Centre, Hastings, will feature a mix of theme food, fire dance, magic and random fun, plus dancing to all the favourite Latino styles, including salsa, samba and tango.


Event organiser and team member Linda Hill-Rennie said participants taking part in the event were encouraged to dress up in carnival style to win a spot prize and interest from the local South American community was running high.

"It's going to be a really fun taste of South America. I thought, well, we're going to Rio and we need help getting there, so why not bring a bit of Rio to the Bay?

"There'll be dance teachers on hand to help people learn the steps and we've even got a group of young Brazilians coming to show off the very latest dance moves, hot from Rio's club scene," she said.

The team qualified for Rio at the waka ama nationals at Lake Karapiro in January and will be going to the worlds as official representatives of the Ngati Kahungunu rohe (area), although partly because of the cost of the trip two of the team have had to be replaced by women from outside the region.

The senior masters (50-60 age group) team for Rio is: Linda Hill-Rennie, Maria Robin, Sue Wood and Bev Williams (all from Hawke's Bay), plus Carol Andrews (Tauranga) and Tracey Osborne (Golden Bay). They are coached by Vanessa Wilson and managed by Oriwia Taylor.

Tickets for the South American Carnaval night are on sale at Hastings and Havelock North I-Sites, Vivid Clothing in Hastings, Wardini Bookshop in Havelock North and Beattie & Forbes Bookshop in Napier. The cost is $25 for a single, or put a group together and get five tickets for $100. Light supper is included, with theme food on sale at the venue,

which is fully licensed. For

more information, phone Linda on

(06) 873 4025 or 027 313 0004.