Organisers of the oe vaka described it as a ‘great regatta’ for Cook Island junior paddlers from Aitutaki Oe Vaka and Te Tupu o Te Manava oe vaka club on Rarotonga.
The under 19 Aitutaki boys crew won the 'Alan Maki' memorial trophy by a slim three-second margin ahead of their peers in the Raro mixed team.
Aitutaki female paddlers were also a standout on the water, winning their divisions.
Great efforts were seen in the rudderless V1 races, with some of the adults showing skills of their own on the water.
Organisers would like to congratulate all the tamariki who enjoyed the lagoon and say ‘meitaki atupaka’ to all the generous sponsors that made the event happen, including R&R Maki Ltd, The Boat Shed, Aitutaki Village, Koru Café, The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, Paradise Cove, Maina Traders, Vaikoa Units, Aquila Rentals and DJ Gina and Nu.
Youth paddlers and organisers of the annual paddling festival would like to say a special meitaki atupaka to Air Rarotonga for safely flying the Rarotonga junior paddlers to Aitutaki and to all the local people that contributed to a fantastic event.
Plans are already progressing for another youth paddling event - such was the enjoyment and popularity of the Queen’s Birthday paddling festival on Aitutaki.