Karapiro Rowing hosts at least eight regattas a year between September and April (the rowing season). These range from school events to national, regional and North Island club championships.
One of the biggest regattas is the New Zealand
(Maadi Cup) Secondary School championships, held every second year and usually
in March, attracting up and coming rowers from the entire country.
Every January, thousands head for the lake to take part in the world's largest event for waka ama (Polynesian outrigger canoes). The Waka Ama Regatta involves more than 300 races, from 250 metres to 1,500 metres, and caters for paddlers aged seven to 70. The event has been growing each year with more than 3,000 competitors and 5,000 spectators attending the week of racing.
Lake Karapiro becomes a racetrack every year as some of the world's fastest boats tear up the lake at speeds of more than 200kph.
The lake's size and surface conditions make it ideal for hydroplane racing and Karapiro has hosted some of the sport's most prestigious events since the first UIM World Grand Prix Hydroplane Championships were held there in 2000. Lake Karapiro is included on the New Zealand Grand Prix circuit, attracting spectators enthralled by the prospect of watching drivers zoom through four laps of a 2,000 metre oval course in less than three minutes.
Two water ski clubs, the Karapiro Water Ski Club and the Piarere Water Ski Club, used the lake for competitions while the Karapiro Kayak Racing Club holds regular races over summer.
Organisers of events at Lake Karapiro often book the Sir Don Rowlands Centre for functions. The $4.9 million centre, which opened in 2010, is 1,400m2 and holds up to 1,000 people. The centre has a number of multi-purpose rooms and full kitchen facilities. Local iwi have funded a large cultural room within the centre. The centre is often used for non-sporting events too, such as the annual Waipa District Excellence in Business Awards and conferences.
Covering the major towns of Te Awamutu and Cambridge and the smaller settlements of Temple View, Ohaupo, Pirongia and Kihikihi.
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