What To Expect in Hawaii

Our team will be doing the following 3 races while in Hawaii;

Race 1 – Hulakai OC4 8 Person Relay

When:  Thursday 31st of August
Race details:  This race is a sprint where relay teams of 8 race in a 4 man canoe. Each team races the course 
once covering a total distance of 1km and follows a triangular course involving 2 buoy turns per relay team, and a huli (flip) where the first relay team has a change over with the second team. There is also a SUP (stand up paddle boarding) segment which one member of each participating team must complete.
Challenges:  The biggest challenge of this race is that it is so short, so there is no room for error. Each member must also be able to tread water for half of the race duration. Apart from this the race requires a lot of strategic planning regarding the huli, but also the best combination of paddlers for each relay team, and which relay team will take the lead to get us in front, and which team will go second and bring it home for us. 

Race 2 – Wa’a Kaukahi

When:  Saturday 2nd of September
Race details:  This is the main race of the regatta, and has two legs, each leg covering a distance of 30km. The first leg is the Women’s and Mixed 40+ race from Kailua Bay to Honaunau Bay with the second leg being the Men’s and Mixed Opens race from Honaunau Bay back to Kailua Bay.
Challenges:  The biggest challenge of this race is that it demands mental and physical strength from each member of the team as the race is over 2 hours long.

Race 3 – Wa’a Kaulua

When:  Sunday 3rd of September
Race details:  This race is a 12 person double hull (two 6 man boats strapped together) race following a triangular course of 8km in length involving 2 buoy turns.
Challenges:  This race is not quite the longest race, however it is not a sprint, and it is a double hull race which means the boat has a lot more people in it, and is a lot heavier. It also requires 12 people to be in full sync for 8km, which is a long race in a double hull.

Each race demands it’s own unique set of skills from the team to be able to succeed, as we have sprint races, as well as long distance, some even having special maneuvers. This means that our trainings going forth will require us to work well as a team, as well as focus on ourselves individually knowing we are being honest in giving everything we have at each gym session and each training.This also means we need to bring up our k’s, to prepare ourselves for the 30km Wa’a Kaukahi race.


First Race

Captain Nona Taute-Hohepa leading the pack

The team entered our first race in the AROCA (Auckland Regional Outrigger Canoe Association) Winter Series. The race was in Narrowneck on the 6th of May and was 15km, and for members of our team, including Sarah and Jess, this was their first time paddling a race this long. “It was a three loop race, providing to be a test of mental toughness. One length was wave riding, one was wave punching and the other was side wind, giving the team challenges on how to adapt to the conditions by changing the stroke rate at every corner.” – Nona Taute-Hohepa (Team Captain).



Team during the Narrowneck race.

Team making a turn around the buoy at the Narrowneck race.








Due to waka availability, we had to race against the men’s teams in the open men’s race, rather than in the mixed teams race. We had no gauge on how we stacked up against the other mixed teams because of this. However we later found out that if we had been in the mixed teams race we would have won by a long shot as our team came 11th overall in the men’s race with a time of 1:12:21, and the winners of the Open Mixed race was Hakuna Matata Tu Tangi Ora with a time of 1:20:48 which one of team members Billy Bowman was paddling for.

Overall it was a very good race which gave our team more experience, and helped us get more k’s under our belt as we work our way up to the big trip.


Personal profiles of the week

First up we have…

Name: Billy Bowman
Degree: Third year Chemical and Materials Engineering
From: Born and raised in England until I was nine then moved to Helensville, New Zealand.
When did you start paddling?
I started paddling in year 10 at school, where I competed in many races including Heiva Va’a in Tahiti. I’ve also been paddling for Tu Tangi Ora, my club based in Helensville for many years. Some of the cool races I’ve done with them include the Vaka Eiva in Rarotonga and the Takapuna Beach Cup, a 42km changes race around Rangitoto, Motutapu and Rakino.
What do you hope to get out of the trip?
Cultural experience and paddling experience in such a prestigious race. Having a mid semester break.

Next up we have…

Name: Dallas Watene
Degree: Fourth year Computer Systems Engineering
From: Piopio, New Zealand
When did you start paddling?
8 years ago at highschool where I competed at Nationals and Secondaries. I also paddled for Turanga Ararau and when my family moved I started again with Horouta in Gisborne.
What are you looking forward to the most in Hawaii?
Create some great team dynamics with everyone, especially with those in their final year of uni.


Hang around for another week to keep up with everything Floating Eagles!