Hoe Matariki will bring up its 10th anniversary this weekend with their annual event sending paddlers into the Parua Bay waters.
Hosted by Parihaka Waka Ama, the event will see about 330 paddlers compete across a variety of races tomorrow at Whangarei Cruising Club in Parua Bay.
More than anything, the day is about paddler development and getting people interested in the sport.
Organiser Daniel Gotz said the event started as a way of getting people interested in potentially taking up the sport.
"Originally it was for the purpose of what our major trophy this year is all about. We want to have new paddlers getting that experience and having a go," he said.
"It's almost a down time between long and short distance paddling so we thought we'd do something to get new people in and having competition paddlers helping that is great. We wanted to do something around Matariki and contribute back to new paddlers.
"It first started at Onerahi but it grew so big we moved venues. The sailing club support us really well, providing boats and crews to keep our paddlers safe out on the water."
Poutama Hetaraka designed a new plaque as the day's most sought after award for the numerous Northland waka ama clubs venturing to Parua Bay to engage in some good willed competition.
Gotz said the plaque will be handed out to the most deserving club.
"We've got a carved taonga. We used to have one in the past but it's been taken away so we got a new one carved for Matariki," he said.
"It's called the Tarewa plaque. It'll be awarded to the club with the most contribution to waka ama and the spirit of paddler development. It'll be won by a club that turns up on the day."
There will be a variety of races, ranging from competitive mens, womens and mixed races to more social paddles.
Gotz said they want new paddlers and experienced ones to engage across the day.
"One of our first races is the women's race and then the mixed teams. We also have a social race where newcomers come in and paddle and it's shorter than other races," he said.
"Its 16km for the women's and mixed teams before an 8km race for the newcomers and brand new paddlers.
"We want to mix up the new paddlers with some more experienced ones on the day. We'll have men's races from U19s up that are 18km up."
Racing starts at 9am.