In paddling, there is never a sure thing, and every crew knows that when they sit waiting for the green flag, anyone on that start line could take line honours. Despite the big win of 2015, Vaka Manu were clear that they weren’t taking their history for granted. Led from the front by Mark and Brad, intense training at the ramp meant the crew was ready to meet the challengers for the 500m W6 Premier Mens Final. The start line read like a who’s who of NZ outrigger crews, and many who have held the title previously.
After a strong start, the Vaka Manu crew got quickly into their work, with the cadence providing the rhythm for the engine to kick in and edge them in front to cross the line as 2016 Premier Mens champions.
We wish them all the best as they now turn their sights on the World Championships in Australia in a few months.
A special mention must also be made for the Pineula Hoetoa and Pineula Greyman crews who pushed Vaka Manu to the limit, delivering a full podium for Strongarm crews!