Junior paddlers grow at Motu2Motu

Thursday December 04, 2014 Written by Peka Fisher/Stephen Doherty Published in Paddling
A paddler’s dream, the 36km course included seven legs  and six changeovers. 14120315 A paddler’s dream, the 36km course included seven legs and six changeovers. 14120315 VARO MEDIA / TURAMA PHOTOGRAPHY

A typically beautiful day in stunning Aitutaki was what 96 paddlers and supporters experienced during Tuesday’s Motu2Motu race.

This set the scene for a great day of oe vaka following Vaka Eiva last week.

The 36km change over race was a blend of iron and change over racing for the eight vakas on the water.

Winners of the event were Team Exodus crossing the finish line with a record time for Motu2Motu in 2.55.

The crew was a mixture of paddlers from New Zealand, Cook Islands, Canada, UK and Australia.

With another successful event under their belt, event organisers Stephen and Poppy Doherty are chuffed with these years event however according to Stephen the real winners of the day were the Aitutaki junior paddlers.

“An event like Motu2Motu and the format of randomly selecting mixed teams has certainly paid off,” says Doherty.

“Especially for the junior paddlers of Aitutaki who would never normally have the opportunity to paddle with such a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

The winning boat crew was made up of Ben Afitu, Denis Davey, Elizabeth Mast, Eric Lander (Aitutiki Oe Vaka), Nga Turi (Aitutaki Oe Vaka juniors), Pope Tekatau (Aitutaki Oe Vaka Juniors), Richard Carson (Wai Nui O Kanada), Sonia Moulton (Paddlesport UK), Tony Vloedmans (Gladstone Point), Tracey Kingi (Te Toki) and Vanessae Mercer (MOCC).

Prize giving was held at the Aitutaki Game Fishing Club with event coordinator Stephen Doherty back on the microphone for the evening.

Beginning with a speech from the Deputy Mayor of Aitutaki Po’o Bishop, the night’s formalities included four prize presentations.

First place winners received a unique carved wooden paddle inscribed with the race map.

Second and third place getters – the Brown team and Maoate Marauders – received inscribed black pearl paddle pendants.

A light hearted award was the Tropical Trophy chosen by spectators for the crew experiencing funny issues during the course.

The Sky Blue team were awarded the trophy after a near capsize in flat conditions.

Rounding off another successful year with cultural flair, paddlers and spectators were treated to a floorshow by the Te Aito dance troupe.

“We’d like to thank our sponsors, without their support the Motu2Motu Aitutaki would not be possible”, said Stephen. 

Organisers are looking forward to next year’s event as the race turns five.      

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