Masters and juniors men’s coach Tangata Fletcher Melvin said since this is the inaugural year of the championship, there was pressure on them to set a benchmark for the future national teams.
He said they were bracing for some tough competitions against some top paddling countries in the world.
Alongside hosts Tahiti and neighbours New Caledonia, Peru, New Zealand, Argentina, Italy, Great Britain, Niue, Canada, Hong Kong, Fiji, Singapore and Chile are some notable countries participating in the four-day event.
“When we generally go to a club event overseas, especially in the masters, they want to have more fun,” Melvin said.
“But this is not our attitude for this event. I have said that from the start that I don’t want to wake up at six in
RIGHT: Cook Islands are competing in a number of individual and team events at the IVF Va‘a World Distance Championships.
the morning to blow off our hard work just like that.
“I would rather not paddle then go into the championship half-cooked. Some people in the team maybe, had that attitude but found out the hard way.”
Melvin said the team had been preparing for the inaugural event since January.
“We don’t have that many competitions here so we needed to do lot more paddling during our trainings.
“There have been some disappointments. Initially, we started with three teams but now we have only two teams. There are some who can’t commit to training which is actually typical of the Cooks but quite frustrating for me as coach.”