For one Raglan family, the waka ama world championships are calling.
Mum Jocelyn Hartstone, daughters Amber Hartstone and Lana Herbert, and Lana’s husband, Conan Herbert, are all paddling in teams that qualified for the IVF World Club Championships and the IVF Elite World Championships at the sprint nationals at Lake Karapiro last weekend.
The Whaingaroa Whānau Hoe Waka W6 (six paddlers) premier women’s team, which includes Lana and Amber, came fourth in the 500m and sixth in the 1500m, which sees them through to world club championships at the Sunshine Coast, Australia, in May.
Jocelyn competed in a W6 golden masters team from Waitakere Outrigger Canoe Club, which won gold in the 500m and silver in the 1000m, also qualifying for the worlds; while Conan, who paddles for Nga Hoe Horo Outrigger Canoe Club, has been selected to represent New Zealand at the IVF World Elite Championships and qualified with his W6 premier men’s team to compete in the world club champs.
Lana says waka ama is a great family sport because almost anyone can paddle, and the events are family-friendly, healthy and smoke-free. Contestants at the nationals ranged in age from 5 to 74.
She says the six paddlers in her Raglan premier women’s team will be contesting the world club champs in Australia in May, representing the Raglan club.
The other team members are Mellissa Rangiawha, Haidee Rangiawha, Teresa Waitere and Courtney Johansen (Huntly).
The first six teams in every race at the 2016 Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Waka Ama Sprint Nationals, which ran for a week from January 18-24, won a spot at the worlds. The Raglan club had seven teams competing.
“It has been our goal to qualify for the worlds since early 2015 so we had a plan. There were some really good teams that we beat,” says Lana.
She says that although it’s not surprising that they qualified because they are a strong team, it was still a relief.
“It has been a lot of juggling work, family and paddling, and four of us in the team have been coaching the other women’s and girls’ teams.”
Lana says they would like to improve their times in Australia.
“The canoes are a lot different in Australia. The lanes are narrower so we have a lot of technical things to work on such as race turns before we go.”
Conan was named in a team of 13 paddlers to represent New Zealand at the IVF World Elite Championships, to be held at the same time as the world club championships.
He was selected after attending two gruelling trial weekends in October and November, where 30 contenders completed a number of on-water and off-water tests, including W1 distances of 10 kilometres and 500m, and W6 paddling. He also attended a couple of training camps.
His team, Herberts on Tour, also qualified for the world club champs after coming third in the premier men’s W6 1500m and sixth in the 500m.
Meanwhile, Raglan man Wayne Trott came second in the straight finals of the adaptive men’s W1 (one-man) 250m at the sprint nationals.