WAKA-Tohea pulls away from the wharf, battling the current to head for the start line. Photos James Sandbrook OB4721-02

EIGHT teams took to the water on Sunday, competing in the Opotiki Waka Ama Club’s first mini-regatta of the year.

In spite of the scattered rain over the afternoon, the competition began at 1pm as planned, attended by new rowers and old hands alike.

“I was happy with eight teams,” Waka Ama Club chairman Danny Paruru said.

“The event was just for people to get out there and have a go.”

During the afternoon, about 60 people participated and spectated from the Opotiki Wharf.

Mr Paruru said the event attracted interest on the day from first-time rowers keen to join the club..

“We’re hoping to have a really strong group together by summer, that we can send to events around the Bay,” Mr Paruru said.

Moving forward, he said the club would be focused on growth and regular trainings, with the possibility of more events in the near future.

“We’re looking at doing some activities with the Omaio Waka Ama Club too,” he said.