A free day today will also see paddling crews visit their nominated local school in the events ‘Adopt a School’ programme where cultural exchange and inspiring future oe vaka paddlers is the focus.
Today junior paddlers take the limelight with a day of fun planned for Muri beach and the Mapu Oe Vaka super hero-themed party at the Islander Hotel.
Mapu paddlers have been enjoying an eventful regatta that started with a full-on sprints day on Saturday where local based and visiting Cook Islands youth paddlers dominated Muri lagoon. Youth paddlers from the Cook Islands Outriggers club had a strong showing and are sure to also dominate the prize giving podium tonight.
The Mapu Oe Vaka wrap up will be held at the Islander Hotel, a Silver Sponsor of this year’s paddling festival.
From 4pm onwards the White Ribbon boiler swim will be held from the Avarua harbour, with gold coin donations going towards supporting women and family to break away from violent lifestyles.
Friday’s final mixed round Raro race will end this year’s Vaka Eiva festival with the prizegiving, the celebratory “paddles-up” party to be held at the OTR bar and Rehab nightclub “vaka festival”.
Internationally acclaimed Kiwi artist Tiki Taane headlines this year’s wrap-up party lineup, which will also include some of the island’s grooviest bands and DJs.
While this is when the paddles go up and the hips go crazy, there’s plenty of talk about the future of the annual Vaka Eiva event and no doubt all involved are prepared to steer the vaka into a new direction.
- Matariki Wilson