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Pregnant competitor takes part at Waka Ama sprint nationals in Lake Karapiro

The Waka Ama sprint nationals drew nearly 3500 paddlers to Lake Karapiro this week, it's the largest Maori sporting event in the country, but one woman's team is bending the rules about how many paddlers a crew can have on board.

Jamie Lee Tuhoe is the steerer for her elite W6 women’s squad.

She is bending the rules a bit, at seven months pregnant she's made her six member squad technically a W7.

Jamie Lee Tuhoe said she has no problems competing while being pregnant.

"She's all good (baby), I mean when you're out there you forget it's all about the race," said Tuhoe.

"But then afterwards she gets a bit of relaxation and a bit of love."

Legends of the sport are happy to see a heavily hapu woman competing.

"I think that's pretty amazing – yeah it's awesome," said waka ama competitor Ray Timihou.

"Good on her and hopefully her pepe (baby) will be tough and be a paddler too," said waka ama competitor Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr.

Even with a baby on board Tuhoe's team have been setting cracking pace, her crew making the finals today.

Jamie Lee Tuhoe is seven months pregnant but that doesn't stop her from competing for her elite W6 women's squad. Source: 1 NEWS