Sunday, December 7
The eleventh Vaka Eiva festival recently took place on Raro with about 600 paddlers from all over the world heading for the water.
There were many regulars from New Zealand, Hawaii (paddling legend Nappy Napoleon's Anuenue) and Australia (especially Rogz for Dogz who always come loaded up with supplies for the Esther Honey animal clinic). This year we alos had teams from Canada, England and Tahiti.
The weather was, shal we say, variable. No problems with Friday's canoe blessing and Saturday's V1 and OC1 races, but some of Monday's V6 iron races (12km or 18km six-person, no changeovers) had to be postponed because high winds made things dangerous. It rained fairly solidly for the juniors' Muri lagoon sprints and marathons but that apparently didn't dampen the enthusiasm; rain stopped for the senior sprints on Wednesday and although it started off dull for Thursday and Friday's V6 round the island relays the sun came out later on and some of the postponed V6 iron races were held on Friday afternoon.
A great innovation this year was DotVision's live view of the races - each vaka was fitted with a GPS gizmo so you could see online where the boats were.
This video is a brief look at Vaka Eiva as viewed from the shore. The VE Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/vakaeiva?fref=ts) has some neat videos including footage from the air and the water. I think there may be more of these coming but they weren't online last time I looked. The videos will probably also end up on the VE website but again they weren't there last time I looked. However, all the results are there (V1 and OC1: http://vakaeiva.com/index.php/information/race-results/race-results-2014-singles
For more stories on the biggest soprting event in the Cook Islands check out Cook Islands News (http://www.cookislandsnews.com/sport/paddling)