Wednesday, February 10

Triathlons and cyclones in Rarotonga

Triathlon is a well-established and popular sport in Rarotonga.
It was part of the Pacific Mini Games and every year we host the Air New Zealand International Triathlon. This year it’s on Saturday 1 May and local competitors are sure to be challenged by those from New Zealand and Australia as well as the regional powerhouses from New Caledonia and Tahiti.
At the mini games New Caledonia won all three women’s medals, the gold and bronze men’s medals and the team gold. Tahiti won the men’s and teams silvers and the Cook Islands were delighted to pick up the team bronze.
The video is from the PMG tri competition which was centred around Avatiu harbour – better for the spectators. The international tri starts and ends at Muri beach.
For fans of Cook Islands music, the background track is a bouncy ute called Vaine No Roto Ite Ata by Tina Koronui.
As I write this we have a cyclone heading towards Rarotonga.
Cyclone Pat has just passed more or less over the top of Aitutaki but there’s no news at the moment of how much damage it caused.
The predictions of Pat’s path keep changing. At first Rarotonga wasn’t even in the affected zone, later it was supposed to pass us by to the north but last time I looked at a satellite photo it seemed to be heading south from Aitutaki towards Rarotonga.
The photo also shows another area near Samoa that is being investigated. It’s beginning to look like a huge cyclone and it’s got a good chance of heading in this direction.
Meanwhile, the wind’s getting up and shops have put up shutters. Roofs were tied down after the last alert and will stay that way until the season is over (April).