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MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand Waka Ama take on the Va’a world once again

In two weeks, time, the 19th International Va’a Federation (IVF) Va’a World Sprint Championships will commence, with the United Kingdom to host the spectacular Va’a event for the first time. Over the course of 11 days, 8-16 August 2022,1500 paddlers from 19 countries will battle it out on the water. The IVF Va’a World Sprint Championships is the pinnacle Va’a sprint competition and brings together two events: Elite World Championships and Club World Championships – with a strong New Zealand presence in both competitions.

The New Zealand contingent is one of the largest in the competition at 300 paddlers and is in a solid position to succeed on the world stage and bring back the gold.

A canoe blessing will take place on the 8th of August, and then the event will formally open on Tuesday the 9th of August with an athlete parade and festivities. The first of the official race events will see the best of the best from each country take part in the elite competition, with each country permitted one team per category (junior men, junior women, open men, and open women) over two days of fantastic racing. The New Zealand paddlers will be fighting to retain their titles from the 2018 event which saw them taking home four golds and six silver medals in the elite team racing events.

Without taking a breath, the club racing will take place over the remaining five days with paddlers from throughout New Zealand representing 17 clubs from Pawarenga to Christchurch to bring home the club medals on offer. Horouta Waka Hoe from Gisborne will be trying to retain the ‘World Club Championship’ title that they were awarded in 2018.

For the duration of the racing, V1 or individual paddlers will have the opportunity to be named World Champions in their given age groups. As per the club divisions, medals will be earned from the Junior 16 to the Master 80 divisions. New Zealand has a strong number of medal opportunities in the V1 events with our top New Zealand paddlers such as Akayshia Williams (Open Women), Kacey Ngataki (Open Men), Tupuria King (Open Men), Kiwi Campbell (Master 40 Women), Jason Reti (Master 40 Men), and up and coming Junior 19 paddlers Ngatuire Hapi and Pharrel Grbic.

Not only will the action on the water be exhilarating but the atmosphere at the event is sure to impress with the event being held at Dorney Lake, the 2012 Olympic Games rowing venue.

Waka Ama New Zealand Chief Executive Lara Collins says “the level of racing is like no other Va’a event in the World, not only are the best of the best from each county racing but the club event encompasses all age groups which reflects the inclusive and whānau nature of our sport”

“All of the gruelling winter training will come to fruition in the United Kingdom, and I am very excited to see all paddlers, club, elite and para, showcase why Aotearoa is a force to be reckoned with in the Va’a world. We haven’t seen a World Sprints event take place in 4 years, so we are excited to see our paddlers race in a few weeks’ time!”.

For more information or comments please contact


Waka Ama New Zealand

Event Organisers

Official Organising Committee Information:

IVF Facebook page and website

International Va’a Federation (IVF)

Founded in 1981, the International Va'a Federation is the International Governing Body for the Sport of Va'a/ Outrigger Canoe. The International Va'a Federation holds a World Sprint Championship every 2 years

List of Countries and entries for the World Sprints:

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

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