The Bay of Islands will once again be full of waka racing when the Bay of Islands Waka Festival is held next month.
The popular festival, which sees waka of all sizes compete in a range of races, will be based at Te Tii Beach on March 13 and 14.
The fourth annual festival was cancelled last year due to Covid-19, but a full programme has been organised for this year's races.
There will be W6 250m straight races for J16 boys and girls; J19 boys and girls and mixed crews in both age groups.
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There will also be W6 500m turn races and W1 250m straight races for the age groups.
As well as racing for all categories and age groups on the Saturday, the 25km Te Taiawhio o Ipipiri race will be held on Sunday. This race was founded in the Bay 29 years ago by the late Kris Kjeldsen, a father of the sport in New Zealand. The race had not been held for 17 years, until it was revived at the inaugural Bay of Islands Waka Festival in 2017.
The regatta is an approved event on the Waka Ama NZ site and all registration details can be found there: https://wakaama.co.nz/racecalendar/lookup/1726
The key learnings young people said they gained from participating in this event included: how to be part of a team; success requires work; problem-solving; water safety; looking after equipment; being healthy; getting out into the environment; and whanaungatanga.