The women’s crew have been training hard through the Victorian winter, battling howling winds and rains.
Even numbing four degree conditions couldn’t keep the hardy vaine toa paddlers out of the canoe.
The crew, made up of friends who live in Victoria, have named their crew Team One to honour the sport of oe vaka which has brought them together as one.
While most of the women’s crew are from Australia, in a mix are a couple of Kiwis and paddlers from the USA.
“Team One - one world, one life, one love is our motto for this trip!” say the women’s crew.
“We have assembled a wonderful group of paddling friends to take on this event.”
Some of the crew are returning again to Rarotonga for the annual paddling festival, with a few excited first-timers thrilled to be heading to the rock to make paddling memories.
While fun in the sun is the ultimate goal for the master women’s paddling crew, the crew have huge international experience under their belts as well as individual success in the sport of oe vaka.
Together they have paddled many Australian local events such as Hamilton Island Cup, Gold Coast Cup, Murray Marathon and the Sydney Harbour Challenge.
Individuals in the team have been very lucky to be able to travel to far away destinations of Hawaii, USA, Fiji, Tahiti and here to the Cook Islands to compete at Vaka Eiva, New York’s Liberty Challenge, the Wai Tui Fiji International, Auckland’s Takapuna Cup, Hawaii’s Queen Lilliou’kalani Cane Race and the Napali Coast Challenge.
“This will be the first Vaka Eiva for some of the crew and they are counting the days until we get there!” the crew say excitedly.
“We are looking forward to paddling in the sun and swimming in warm water!”