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Don’t touch Horouta’s kai!

Wednesday 17 November 2010 | Published in Regional

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Don’t Touch My Food is a junior boys team from New Zealand that will be competing this year in the 12km from Avarua to Matavera and back, in Tuesday’s sprints at Muri and in the 15km on Thursday.

Don’t Touch My Food are the current NZ J13 sprint champs – though some paddlers have moved up to the J16 grade to prepare for the NZ Nationals in 2011.

Steerer Kemara Hauiti-Parapara is the current NZ J13 V1 champion, and coaches are Mandy Hatton (former Worlds master women OC1 champ), George Faalogo (Mana Menz stalwart and Worlds competitor) and Grant Barriball (current Worlds OC1 champ).

The crew – who come from European, Cook Islands, Samoan and Maori backgrounds – are all Porirua-based.

The team has been training hard for this competition and is out to win gold. They are keen to get to know the crews from all the other countries, and they rate themselves as ‘mean dancers’ and intend to show their moves on the dance floor at the juniors party.

The club name ‘Horouta’ comes from the ancestral waka that sailed the Pacific from Hawaiki to Aotearoa around 1000 AD. The waka Horouta is more associated with the East Coast of New Zealand where many of the descendants of these early travellers still live and many of those descendants continue to paddle.

Horouta operates from Marina Park in the heart of Gisborne City where three rivers meet, on the East Coast of Aotearoa, and is fortunate to have a mix of still water paddling on rivers and open water paddling in the ocean.

Horouta has clinched many medals – gold, silver and bronze – at NZ’s annual regatta, and has achieved some measure of success in the international paddling arena.

The club is bringing to Rarotonga a group of 15 excited and well prepared men and women paddlers to join in the festivities of Vaka Eiva, to share in the hospitality of the island and for some to retrace ancestry back to Rarotonga.

No reira, tena koutou tena koutou tena koutou katoa. Hui e taiki e!