Tupu King has set a national record at the National Waka Ama Sprints at Lake Karapiro while the Paddle Fly team showcased their abundant skills.

A total of 3228 kaihoe (paddlers) from across the country, ranging from 8 to 70-plus years old, took to Lake Karapiro for the pinnacle event, with Tai Tokerau performing strongly.

King set a national record in the open men's division 500m event, winning the race in an emphatic time of 2.11.56.

The Ngā Hoe Horo paddler also picked up a bronze medal over the weekend, finishing third in the Open Men 250m dash with a time of 1.04.80.


Meanwhile Paddle Fly, from the Mitamitaga club, were in form during the J19 Men's w500m race. They picked up the gold medal in a time of 1.52.07 while also getting the bronze medal in the 1000m race.

Tai Tokerau clubs sent 341 paddlers from Nga Hoe Horo, Ngāti Rēhia, Mitamitaga o Le Pasifika, Parihaka, Te Pūao and Rangaunu. Many clubs trained their juniors and seniors amalgamated to form teams.

Overall, Tai Tokerau tallied 11 golds, five silvers and seven bronzes.

Tai Tokerau were particularly prolific in the Masters divisions, where they grabbed six of their gold medals.

The Tai Tokerau Golden Master Women (from Ngāti Rēhia) were the most prolific team for the region, taking the gold medal in the 500m, 1000m and the W12 500m.

In the 500m and 1000m, they were closely followed by Team South (also of Ngāti Rēhia) in second place.

Golden Master Women paddler Liz Tane grabbed a gold medal in her W1 500m event as well as Dave King in the Senior Master Men, Richard Pehi and Noel Clark in the Masters 70.

Young guns got in on the act to with Tane Heta winning the J16 Men W1 in 2:26.66 and the Miti Mustangs took out the 250m Midget Boys event in a classy effort.

Rangaunu Sports Club chairwoman Hilda Halkyard-Harawira said lot of gratitude needed to be extended following a successful trip to Lake Karapiro.

"A special thanks needs to go to all the junior coaches, managers, drivers and parents who gave up their summer holidays to coach the midget, intermediate and junior teams," she said.

"It doesn't matter how old you are. We all start the same in the sport from midgets to social, to serious and elite level. To take the sport to the next level W1 training whole team commitment and whānau support to reach a common goal is necessary."

The nationals was also used as a pre-entry requirement for the Worlds Waka Ama Sprints in Tahiti this July. Those who registered in the worlds process had to medal or finish in the top six teams. In the W1 races, there were times where first and fourth place were separated by one hundredth of a second.

Tai Tokerau Gold medallists:
W1 500m Event
• Liz Tane (Ngāti Rēhia, Lake Pupuke) - Golden Master Women: 2:53.75
• Dave King (Ngā Hoe Horo, Kohukohu) - Senior Master Men: 2:36.16
• Noel Clark (Ngā Hoe Horo, Lake Ngātu) - Masters 70: 2:52.22
• Richard Pēhi (Parihaka, Onerahi) - Senior Master Men: 2:23.78
• Tupuria King (Ngā Hoe Horo, Kohukohu) - Open Men: 2:11.56 (new record)
• Tane Heta (Mitamitaga, Tutukākā) - J16 Men W1: 2:26.66
Team Events Gold medallists:
• Paddle Fly (Mitamitaga, Tutukākā) - J19 Men W500m: 1:52.07
• Miti Mustangs (Mitamitaga, Tutukākā) - Midget Boys 250m: 1:55.26
• Tai Tokerau (Ngāti Rēhia Lakes Manuwai and Ngātū) - Golden Master Women 500m: 2:27.69
• Tai Tokerau (Ngāti Rēhia Lakes Manuwai and Ngātū) - Golden Master Women 1000m: 6:03.79
• Tai Tokerau (Ngāti Rēhia Lakes Manuwai and Ngātū) - Golden Master Women W12 500m: 2:29.68
Silver medallists:
• Charlie Symons (Parihaka) - Masters 70s W1: 2:57.20
• Kura Heke (Parihaka) - Golden Master Women W1: 2:56.83
• Toi Munroe (Mitamitaga) - J19 W1 250m Dash: 1:08.81
• Team South (Ngāti Rēhia) - Golden Master Women 500m: 2:30.11
• Team South (Ngāti Rēhia) - Golden Master Women 1000m: 6:05.88
Bronze medallists:
• Ali Robinson (Ngāti Rēhia, Tapuwaetahi) - Golden Master Men W1: 2:36.62
• Toi Munroe (Mitamitaga, Tutukākā) - J19 W1 500m: 2:24.03
• Tupu King (Ngā Hoe Horo, Kohukohu) - Open Men 250m Dash: 1:04.80
• Zee Old Pakas (Ngāti Rēhia) - Senior Master Men 500m: 1:57.11
• Paddle Fly (Mitamitaga, Tutukākā) - J19 Men 1000m: 4:57.11
• Parihaka Mixed Adaptive - 250m: 1:10.50
• Parihaka Mixed Adaptive - 500m with turn: 2:42.14