Cook Islands in surfing video game

Friday March 10, 2017 Written by Published in Local
French expatriate and surfer Eric Gamez has managed to put Cook Islands on the map of a surfi ng video game. 17030909 French expatriate and surfer Eric Gamez has managed to put Cook Islands on the map of a surfi ng video game. 17030909

French expatriate and surfer Eric Gamez has put the Cook Islands on the map in a sporting video game now being played by gaming enthusiasts around the world.

 

The surfing video game is called The Journey. Gamez was contacted last year by a video game company to send a picture and the name of a Cook Islander who could feature in the game.

“Now my friend Peter Pokipoki is probably the first Cook Islander in a video game, a game that includes the South Pacific region. They wanted to include people who actually live on the island, so I suggested Peter.”

Pokipoki’s image appears in the game and he gives information on the best surfing areas in the Cook Islands, and how to stay safe when surfing here.

“People are already playing the game and we are really happy to see the Cook Islands feature on it.”

Gamez and his wife Ira run a surfing business in Rarotonga and say their aim is to support the Rarotongan community.

“In the last few years we have given 13 boogie boards to island communities and now we are ready to give out more.”

Last year Spanish surfer San Juan featured in CI News thanking a man who he said had saved his life when he got into difficulties surfing at Rutaki. He identified his life saver simply as “Eddie”.

It turns out it was actually Gamez who saved Juan and he says he has given many visiting surfers information about the dangerous reef passages around Rarotonga. He urges people to heed warning signs on the roadsides and on the beach.

Three years ago he saved two young female surfers at the Papua passage after he spotted them struggling against the current.

Seven years ago he saved a Canadian couple who were in a similar situation.

Gamez says he loves surfing. He says it’s fun and it must be, because he has been doing it for around 20 years.

He and his wife have lived in the Cook Islands for the last 10 years and he says the best surfing areas include Edgewater Resort and Spa, Rutaki, Papua and Matavera and Avana passages.

“We came here for a surfing magazine business and fell in love with the island. We decided to stay but stopped the magazine and went on to more surfing videography and helping the Tourism Corporation.”

Gamez advises anyone who gets caught in an ocean current to go with the current..

“Somebody will find you, just don’t panic, when people panic they drown.”

He said he is grateful to be here.

“It is a blessing for me to be able to help people; the best gift I have.”

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