Vaka Iti – a truly national youth event

Saturday April 30, 2016 Written by Published in Weekend

Sporadic squalls did little to dampen the spirits of the 350 plus youth paddlers who gathered at Muri lagoon on Thursday and Friday for Vaka Iti 2016.

 

Youth paddlers from the Pa Enua brought their own brand of paddling making for a truly national youth event.

The annual junior paddling festival started with a display of individual talent in the K1 kayak races with impressive skills on show considering the choppy lagoon conditions for the 250m sprint races.

There were some capsizes in the conditions but safety crafts including national paddling athlete Andre Tutaka-George on his K1 craft were on the water to ensure the budding paddlers were safe and confident enough to get back on their craft and finish their race.

Warmed up from cheering on their school mates in the K1 races, students then put months of paddling training and team work to the test in the V6 races.

Aitutaki youth paddlers looked sharp on and off the water and along with their fellow Pa Enua paddlers are grateful to Air Rarotonga for their sponsorship in bringing them to Rarotonga.

Smaller schools Imanuela Akatemia and Papaaroa College paddlers punched above their weight while Nukutere College paddlers and athletes from national college Tereora certainly showed skills honed over months of hard training.

Marathon races across Muri lagoon and V12 sprints drew students back to Muri lagoon on Friday for the final day of the youth paddler event.

Full results from the two day event will be published in CI News over the next few days. 

                - Mana Media

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