Saturday, November 30
Vaka Eiva's over for another year and this, the tenth anniversary, was a huge success.
Over 1000 paddlers took to the waters around Rarotonga during the week (22 - 29 November) and with all their families and supporters the island was packed with visitors out to enjoy the sporting and other events on offer.
The weather was good for the most part apart from a few heavy showers on some days. Can't complain about that though because we've been suffering from a bit of a drought recently.
The festival started as usual with a traditional blessing of the canoes. This year there were eight newly built ones and over thirty in all.
That's a far cry from the original seven vaka that made up the fleet ten years ago and just shows how much Vaka Eiva has grown over the years thanks to the hard work of organisers and the generosity of sponsors.
For more pictures and stories check out Cook Islands News and the website of Harvie Allison, the long-time official Vaka Eiva photographer.
Sunday, November 17
Here's the final video from this year's fabulous Sevens in Heaven tournament.
Over the three days of competition we were treated to excellent rugby from local and overseas teams.
Saturday was the highlight as always. Families and groups of friends and supporters made the most of the great weather with some setting up tents on the banks of our national BCI stadium while others grabbed a bit of shade in the grandstand or chilled out in the bar or VIP area. Plenty of food of course, this is the Cook Islands after all and what's a day out without a feed?
Heaps of people got into the party mood by dressing up; some entered the various costume contests but others were just intent on letting down hair and kicking up heels for a bit of fun.
One of the great things about this tournament is how good natured everyone is and long may that continue.
Thanks to the hardworking organisers and all the teams: Teimurimotia Stallions; General Transport Tabusoro; Porirua Magic (NZ); Atiu Warriors; Tauae Bulls; Araura Enua; Avatiu Rugby Club; Titahi Bay Panthers (NZ); Rebels; Bombay Hawks; Titikaveka Telecom Colts; Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers; Shuzi Flying Dragons; ICBH Arorangi Cowboys; Mareko's and AS Manu Ura (Tahiti).
Hope to see you all again next year.
Thursday, November 14
Here's more video from this year's Sevens in Heaven tournament (aka the Cook Islands International Rugby Sevens Tournament but that's a bit of a mouthful).
All of the sixteen teams make an appearance. These included all-local, all-overseas and local with imports sides.
Those taking part were Teimurimotia Stallions (last year's champs, this year's runners up); General Transport Tabusoro; Porirua Magic (NZ); Atiu Warriors; Tauae Bulls; Araura Enua; Avatiu Rugby Club; Titahi Bay Panthers (NZ); Rebels; Bombay Hawks (NZ - this year's champs); Titikaveka Telecom Colts; Tupapa Maraerenga Panthers; Shuzi Flying Dragons; ICBH Arorangi Cowboys; Mareko's and AS Manu Ura (Tahiti).
Wednesday, November 6
The rugby at the recent Sevens in Heaven tournament was great but so was the entertainment.
The players had a bit of a rest on Friday and Saturday while various novelty contests took place and the highlight on both days was a performance by local kids and fitness enthusiasts. On Friday five youngsters and three adults strutted their stuff while Saturday's maxi-show featured 14 adults and 27 kids including some really tiny tots.
This video is of the Friday performance.
Monday, November 4
The annual Sevens in Heaven rugby sevens tournament has just taken place here on Rarotonga.
Once again it was a great success with fine weather (apart from a heavy shower on the first afternoon), exciting rugby, plenty of food and lots of people dressing up and having fun.
The only things missing were the women's teams. There hasn't been a women's competition for the past two years which is a shame because their games are always popular with the spectators.
Next year is the 25th anniversary of the sevens tournament so let's hope the women are back in action then.
As usual the event opened with a march through town followed by a short opening ceremony and the 'dash for cash' run with a speedster from each team sprinting to win $100 for the charity of their choice.
More videos to follow so watch this space.