The annual Vaka Eiva paddling festival is a success story that spans 10 years and its success hinges on the dedicated services of volunteers.
This year, the popular oe vaka festival celebrates 10 years of paddling in paradise and once again the call is going out to volunteers to come on board the vaka and steer it through another successful two weeks of paddling.
On average, around 100 volunteers make Vaka Eiva happen every year – and this year the number of volunteers needed is the same.
While Vaka Eiva co-ordinator Victoria Dearlove and Vaka Eiva volunteers co-ordinator Liz Sosene have a good number of volunteers putting their hands up for various tasks throughout the two-week event, more volunteers are needed, especially for Monday 25 November.
Monday will see the V6 12km and 18km iron races where over 1000 paddlers will take to the water for the races.
As Vaka Eiva prides itself of making safety a priority – more vaka ‘checkers’ are required for the Monday V6 iron races.
This means that each time a vaka returns to shore, it is checked over for any damages and given the tick that it is safe and sea worthy, ready for more racing.
Vaka ‘movers’ are also needed for the day to help move vaka from water to shore and from shore to sea.
Minor upgrades will be made to the Avarua Harbour slipway to ensure swifter and smoother transitions of canoes and paddlers through the area which turns into paddling central for the two weeks of the paddling festival.
In total, some 40 volunteers are needed for the day’s event.
Dearlove says that volunteers don’t have to be paddlers to be part of the team that makes Vaka Eiva a success each year.
Volunteers will receive the same race packs paddlers do which will include a backpack, shirt, cap, meals at the opening and closing ceremony and best of all – the prime spots to feel the buzz of Vaka Eiva.
Pacific Resort, as part of its sponsorship and support for Vaka Eiva, will provide lunches for volunteers every day of the paddling event.
Volunteers are not just the people helping with checking canoes, moving canoes, ushering paddlers or collating results but anyone in the community who wants to help make this year’s event the most successful ever.
Dearlove says if people are able to give produce like bunches of bananas and nu or home baked goods to treat the volunteers – it all counts towards making Vaka Eiva a wonderful event for visitors and locals alike.
If you have time to spare and want to be part of the success story that is Vaka Eiva – contact Victoria Dearlove or Liz Sosene and they will be more than happy to welcome you to the paddling family.