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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

The Native Canoe Race

The Native Canoe Race.

Owing to the great crowd of yachts, cutters, and steamboats, which, during the afternoon, congregated off the foreshore in the vicinity of the dock, it was found impracticable to run the Maori events as originally intended, and by common consent the natives themselves agreed to postpone the war canoe race till next afternoon. Mr. Thos. Porter had his men ready for the races for a long time, and having no means of clearing a course, at last despatched a small canoe to the middle of the harbour as a mark boat. Four whakatiwais, all manned by full crews of half-naked Maoris, all decorated with feathered headgear, etc., then started on a race, and a stirring scene was witnessed as the dusky paddlers, gradually increasing their pace, swayed to and fro in perfect unison, to the wild chants of the excited fuglemen in the centre of each craft. Through a mistake natural enough under the circumstances, two only went for the proper mark, but a splendid race between them took place, and resulted in the Momoni, manned by the Huntly hapu, winning by about half a length from the Pupirikana, whose crew also hailed from Huntly. The Tarai Puruku, with a crew of Rangiriri Maoris, and the Ruahori, manned by Kainara men, went along the foreshore towards the dock, and had a good race to themselves.