Paddlers in limelight

00:37, Feb 15 2013

Waka-ama athletes will be "paddling with eels" in a festival to be held at Lake Rotoiti from tonight.

The event has been organised by the Nelson-based Maitahi Outrigger Canoe Club and will host 140 paddlers from the South Island.

Participating crews come from Nelson, Motueka, Whakatu marae, Onetahua marae in Golden Bay, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Races for one-person, two-person and six-person waka ama (outrigger canoes) will be held with paddlers ranging in age from students to one paddler in his 80s.

The race course is in Kerr Bay.

Called, Tuna e Hoe Ana, the festival has been running since 2009. Its name means "paddling with eels"; referring to the many eels in Lake Rotoiti.

More details: maitahi-outrigging.org.nz/events/Tuna e Hoe Ana.

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Nelson