The Serena Hunter-coached side blazed home with a time of 3.03:04 hours in the 2015 Vaka Eiva ahead of Boiler Babes of Te Tupu O Te Manava and Te Tuamoana of Porirua Canoe Kayak Club, New Zealand, which finished second and third, respectively.
With some young and exciting additions to the team, Ngakau Toa is keen to emulate their winning feat to again claim the coveted event, which will be held on Friday next week.
Hunter said the side was wary of the challenge from the other local and visiting teams.
“As coach of our Ngakau Toa women’s crew, all I can do is prepare my crew to paddle their best,” she said.
“Every year we have new paddlers who we blood in, and there are a couple of very good new talents this year, so we are looking forward to sharing the Vaka Eiva experience with them.”
In the men’s open, Te Tupu O Te Manava and Ngakau Toa are the top favourites against a field of some exciting teams.
Last year their team Toa Fetu Boyz, which had members from both clubs, finished on top with a time of 2.27:20 hours.
Ngakau Toa men’s coach Fletcher Melvin said they were once again combining forces with Te Tupu O Te Manava for the open men’s.
“Actually we have a paddler joining us from the Te Tupu O Te Manava, but the majority are from Ngakau Toa,” he said.
“There are some teams that we are not familiar with in this year’s event and we are wary of that.”
Melvin said the team had prepared well and were working on tying the loose ends before the paddling event.
“It’s pretty rough out there and we are happy with the conditions. This year’s event is smaller, but still it will be an intense one with new paddlers competing.
“We are using this year’s Vaka Eiva to prepare for next year’s World Champs in Tahiti.”
Open Tane – 1. Toa Fetu Boyz – Ngakau Toa Vaka – CI, 2. Pacific Dragons –
Pacific Dragons OCC – AUS
Open Vaine – 1. Boiler Babes – Te Tupu O Te Manava – CI, 2. Ngakau Toa Vaine – Ngakau Tooa Vaka – CI, 3. Pacific Dragons – Pacific Dragons OCC –AUS, 4. Taurangawaewae Wahine – Taurangawaewae Water Sports – NZ, 5. Tiare Manea – Cook Islands Outriggers – NZ, 6. American Dragons I&S – American Dragons – SING
Open Mixed – 1. Xylobladz – Outrigger Whitsunday – AUS, 2. Parihaka – Parihaka OCC – NZ, 3. Hoaloha O Ke Kai – Mixed clubs – AUS/USA, 4. Outrigger Caloundra – Outrigger Caloundra CC – AUS, 5. American Dragons – American Dragons Singapore – SING, 6. Dirty Pirates – Tu Tangi Ora – NZ, 7. NTV Mixed – Ngakau Toa Vaka – CI, 8. Pacific Dragons – Pacific Dragons OCC – AUS.