An under-16 Wakatipu High girls’ crew turned heads at a recent national waka ama  regatta at Lake Rotoiti in Nelson Lakes National Park.

Though they didn’t have any direct competition in their 500 metre sprint and 5km races, they easily beat a mixed team in their age group and even some novice adult crews  who were allowed two experienced paddlers.

From left are crew members Rosa McBride, Lucia Marshall, Baylee Rapata, Sophie Bulling and Izzy Burgess, along with Wakatipu Waka Ama Club co-coach Leon Williams and, in front, Mia Bulling-Early, who won the president’s novice steerer’s award even though she only began steering last September.

Co-coach Frances Piacun says the girls’ ambitious goal is to make the worlds being held in Hawaii in 2024.