I paddle W1 in the Golden Master Women division and W6 in the Senior Master Women division.
My club is Mareikura waka ama in Turanganui a Kiwi, Te Uranga o Te Ra, Gisborne.
Mareikura is the first waka ama club to start in Aotearoa (1985).
Since then, my husband Matahi and I have been relentless in our promotion of waka ama in our role and in Aotearoa, katoa.
I first paddled in the Open division and moved through the divisions in time. I currently paddle for Ruamata Waka ama club in rotorua.
My husband and I have been competing and coaching at waka ama National sprints since they first started and used to race in everything, everywhere. However, we don’t do as many races these days as our whanau has grown to 7 beautiful moko (grandchildren) whom I spend most of my time with now. I usually do Long Distance Nationals as well. Throughout the years I have medalled in all events entered, whether they be national or international races. I specialise in the steer position.
Before a race I tend to isolate myself. I like training on my own to take the time to kinda melt into the water and my waka so we become one. I am one who usually loves making sure everyone is ok first, but my racing time is an exception: There is no one else in the world but me.
I regroup, I recoil, I preserve energy, and run my own race over and over in my head, with a particular attention to what the water could be like on the day so when I am there, I already know it. Even in a team situation I stand apart, fusing with everyone when the race starts. No kia ora on the water, no have a nice race ladies…. I know no one…. No stretching, no land warm up, my love of being on the water hits me when I finally get on my waka. It fills me with anticipation and joy… We’re on….
Oh and on the kai area: eat what you are used to and what you can get. I don’t get hung up on special meals at special times. I believe that if you eat with intent, and be thankful for the kai you are able to get it will do the job.
Stay with the water and go with it… and the rest will come… fitness, strength, success, and most of all the happy paddling stuff!!!
Believe in yourself, but train to the conditions: Molokai solo surfs 2000. This one I keep rewinding in my mind even as years later. A huge learning experience to my ego but also sealed my path with the realm of Tangaroa. A friend had asked to join her in the Molokai Solo Surfski race and I thought ‘Cool – Hawaii, Big waves, island to island, I totally can do it… Minor problem I had no surfski experience – so there goes the surfski training out to sea inTuranga Nui a Kiwa. Up and down waves, side on, offshore swell, beach surfing – all done. Three months later was lining up in one of the best line up I ever seen – All surfski and waka ama long course world champions, men and women were there, yeah, an incredible line up.
I was mesmerised, even more eager to just go and do it… Well, the surf WAS much bigger (had to put the brakes on), after 3 hours I hit the wall. With another 3 hours to ago, it was the longest painful crawl to Hawaii Kai finish line, with the clock showing 6 hours as I went through the finish line in second to last to an old Japanese guy. The last 3 hours was a battle for survival and a long long time to rethink the poor strategy, get angry at myself, heaps of put downs, and the island which was never getting closer… it’s a good day to die, all that kind of stuff. I was never able to talk about this race for a long time. The morale of the story finally, feed the fire within because with this EVERYTHING is possible, BUT also train to the conditions because in the end there is only so far that your belief in yourself, mind power and passion can take you, and your body has to train for it… simple as that.
Raipoia is MY INSPIRATION and always has been from the first time I met her, soon after I started paddling. I’ve always thought, “I want to be like her when I grow up”, seriously.
I remember racing a Rotohoe series and getting smoked by her! She carries herself with such grace, but so much strength on the water.
Grateful that she shared her story with us and the learning we can all take from it.She is absolutely correct, mindset can only get you so far, you still have to do the work, that daily consistent action to get better and reach your goals.
If anything in here resonates with you please share, and drop a comment on my Facebook page to let Raipoia know what you think.
Much aroha to you for following my journey and mahi. If you haven’t already please like my Facebook pages and even my instagram page if you are on there. Don’t be shy, share the love.
#imagine #believe #achieve
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