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Hunter hoping for big outing

Tuesday May 23, 2017 Written by Published in Paddling
Serena Hunter fl anked by Tara Cummings, on her left, and Ioana Puna who all will be representing the country at paddling competitions in Tahiti next month. 17051950 Serena Hunter fl anked by Tara Cummings, on her left, and Ioana Puna who all will be representing the country at paddling competitions in Tahiti next month. 17051950

Top female paddler Serena Hunter is hoping to add to her impressive resume when she competes in the Te Aito Tahiti and inaugural IVF Va’a World Distance Championships in Tahiti next month.

 

Hunter recently won the Te Aito Cook Islands which earned her air tickets sponsored by Air Tahiti to compete in the Te Aito Tahiti on June 23 and 24.

She will be accompanied by Esben Torget who was the top local male finisher in the Te Aito Cook Islands.

The duo will be competing in the Te Aito Tahiti followed by the IVF Va’a World Distance Championships in the masters division.

“I’m really looking forward to going over for the competition to represent the Cook Islands. This has been my fifth Te Aito in Tahiti,” Hunter told CI News last week.

“This is my first long distance world championship so it’s pretty special and important.

“It is the event we have all been training hard for and I am really looking forward to representing our country and being in such an important event.”

Hunter and Torget will use the Te Aito Tahiti as a build up for the world championship.

The IVF Va’a World Distance Championship is a new event where member countries compete against each other every two years to be crowned IVF World Distance Champions.

The event will see the best paddlers from around the world competing in long distance oe vaka races of 18km to 27km in V6 and V1.

“It looks like Te Aito is going to be the biggest one yet because everyone who is heading over for the world champs will be competing in Te Aito as well,” Hunter said.

“Here, we paddle in all sorts of conditions, so we are quite lucky here that we can prepare to compete and face whatever the conditions are going to be over there.”

Torget said he was also looking forward to the opportunity to represent the country at the world championship.

“I don’t know how I am going to place, but I know I am going to go and do my best.

“I want to thank my sponsors, Island Car and Bike Hire and Manuia Beach Resort. I would also like to thank all my friends in the club.”

The Cook Islands is fielding individual paddlers in the V1 singles races in all categories of under-19, open and master men and women, and also three V6 teams in U19 junior boys, U19 junior girls, and master men in the championship.