Wednesday, December 1

Paddle power – Vaka Eiva 2010

The Cook Islands has just hosted another successful sporting event. The seventh Vaka Eiva outrigger canoe festival was a smash hit with around 800 international and local paddlers taking part. We had teams and individuals from Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Tahiti and New Caledonia including more than 25 junior teams – this section of the festival has grown enormously over the past few years.
The weather was atrocious for the start of competition – the OC1 and V1 (singles) Iron races on Saturday. Over 100 paddlers started but the conditions proved too much for some and several did not finish.
It wasn’t much better on Monday when the team V6 contest cot underway. Strong winds and heavy rain reduced visibility to about 50 metres at one point. In fact veteran oe vaka photographer Harvie Allison says he’s never seen racing in such awful weather. He got some great photos of all the action though.
Things started improving on Tuesday and the junior sprints, senior sprints and round Raro relays were held in sometimes dull, sometimes sunny conditions but there were no more freak storms.
Other events included the Trader Jacks charity boiler swim, Oe Vaka art exhibition at the Art Studio and Mike Tavioni’s traditional canoe carving project.
Cook Islands News did a fantastic job covering everything from the pre-festival supplement to stories, results and photographs each day.
You can see the whole coverage here.
For more photos check Harvie’s website. This year’s pix aren’t up at the time of writing but he’ll no doubt have them online soon.
Another media regular at Vaka Eiva is Ian Rambo. Check his blog Rambo’s Locker for some super video, a lot of it taken from on the water. Again, this year’s aren’t online yet but keep checking.