THE Taf'aga Outrigger Canoe Club left the country on Sunday to compete in the National Sprint Competition which started in Hamilton, New Zealand, on Monday.
The club won the overall Fiji national competition and are the reigning men's sprint and marathon champions.
The men's team has won the national sprint title four years in a row.
However, they will be put to the test in Hamilton as the New Zealanders are regarded as second to Tahiti, the best in the Pacific.
Led by head coach Guy Morris, the team includes four Fiji reps to the Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna last year and 12-year-old Lauryn Inia who will be making her first international outing in New Zealand this week.
Morris will use his experience from two previous New Zealand National Sprint competitions — also known as the Waka Ama Sprint championships — and the 2010 World Sprints in New Caledonia to get the best performance possible out of his team.
Taf'aga will field one men and one women's team in the V6 (six-person canoe), 500meters and 1500m events, largely made up of young and upcoming paddlers.
Taf'aga's races starts today.
Team: Guy Morris (head coach), management team: Katerina Morris, Raymond Inia, Mellony Inia, Rosarine Hesaie, Paddlers: Guy Morris, Paul Yaqona, Johji Wong, Naibuka Cakacaka, Marika Cakaulevu, Gary Volau, Katerina Morris, Theresa Avon, Krystelle Whippy, Ranadi Timote, Lupe Hesaie, Sylvia Hesaie, Lauryn Inia.