For the first time Foxton will host the Hoe Tonga Paddler Series on the Manawatū River for the final waka ama race of the series.
After a short break due to Covid-19 club colours will descend upon the Foxton community as Waka Clubs from across the Lower North Island paddle for glory on their Waka Ama, or outrigger canoes. More than 20 crews from 10 clubs throughout the region are expected to line up at the starting line.
Mataiawhea Te Kere, regional development officer, said that several members of the Foxton and Horowhenua community have wanted Waka Ama on their waterways.
"There are several paddlers who reside in Levin and Foxton, however they have to travel to Ōtaki or Whanganui just to participate. This event will showcase waka ama in a positive light and hopefully generate some community interest to establish a waka ama club in the Foxton community.
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"This also provides a great opportunity for the paddlers to test themselves in competition after a delay in paddling due to Covid-19."
For this weekend's race meeting, clubs will compete on six-man Waka Ama for honours in the Junior 8km, Open Novice 8km and Senior 17km. More than 100 paddlers from Waka Ama Clubs across the Lower North Island will compete in this final race of the series.
Waka Ama racing has grown in popularity to become the fastest-growing sport in New Zealand. Each year, more than 8000 paddlers from 85 Clubs turn out to race Waka Ama in a show of brute strength, endurance, and team work.
Many thousands more attend to watch the racing as spectators.
The first race begins at 8am, October 17.