Friday, August 19
The latest sport to hit Rarotonga is stand up paddling (or paddleboarding) and according to Battle of the Paddle champ Travis Grant it’s the fastest growing water sport in the world.
Aussie Grant and Australia-based Cook Islander Charlotte Piho were on Rarotonga this week to run clinics and encourage everyone to get moving in the water.
The two organised a Week of Paddling and it started with a bang with a Beauty v Brawn celebrity challenge, a guys v gals relay race. Top local athletes joined in including Kevin Iro, Reuben Dearlove, Serena Hunter, Brendan Heath, Annie Fisher and Kelly Pick, but business people not necessarily associated with sport were there too – Pacific Resort CEO Greg Stanaway and Cook Islands News owner John Woods for example, although John Woods is a keen surfer.
The race took place in front of the Pacific Resort – sponsors of both the Week of Paddling and also Charlotte’s recent search for the perfect Cook Islands wave (see this Cook Islands News story).
Charlotte’s message is that SUP is for everyone and the shallow, clear, calm waters of Muri lagoon are a fantastic place to learn. Captain Tama’s pet paddle-surfing dogs are testament to that!
For fans of Te Maeva Nui, don't worry! I've got several more performances to share with you. Keep watching.