If you can’t beat them, dress better than them!

Tuesday 4 May 2021 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Paddling, Sports


If you can’t beat them, dress better than them!
The participants at the Oe Vaka V12 Corporate Race held on Saturday at Nikao beach. SERENA HUNTER/21050315

Nikao beach was buzzing with excitement on Saturday as teams comprising rookie and experienced paddlers battled for top prizes in the annual Oe Vaka V12 Corporate Races.

Kitelicious defended their Oe Vaka V12 Corporate Race title after an intense race on Saturday.

The team representing KitesUp retained their winning run to take out the Corporate Paddle Trophy for the fourth time running. They finished the 250 metre race in 1:2.03 minutes.

Marine Resources’ Finding Nemo finished in second place while Saucy ASF made up of staff from Seabed Minerals and Environment managed third place.

In the battle of the ministries, Saucy ASF claimed the top prize followed by Finding Nemo and Hubba Hubba (Cook Islands Customs) who finished second and third, respectively.

Teina Taulu, president of Cook Islands Canoeing Association, said they had an awesome day at the Oe Vaka V12 Corporate Races.

“So much corporate pride and team bonding going on, with everyone giving their all. The focus on faces as each person prepared to race, and the excitement as paddles entered the water and the canoe glided through the water to the start line – was beautiful to watch,” Taulu said.

“The pressure at the start line, as canoes line up and with intensity, power, attitude, determination and timing, all canoes surged through the water. Every movement in sync with each other, as if one person is paddling the canoe – it’s the “magic” moment.”

The participants at the Oe Vaka V12 Corporate Race held on Saturday at Nikao beach. SERENA HUNTER/21050315

Taulu was also impressed with the attire of the teams that participated in the event.

“Cook Islanders are creative – if you can’t beat them, dress better than them!  CIPS walked away with the best-dressed team with their quirky Sunny Side up hats and t-shirts.”

The event also featured handstands on a beach challenge which was won by Bradley Heather of BSP.

Taulu said: “The success of every event is the team of people working behind the scenes, its sponsors, and its participants. Meitaki maata to our teams from KitesUp, Seabed Minerals/National Environment Services, Vodafone Cook Islands, CI Customs, CIPS, CI National Superannuation Fund, MFEM, Marine Resources, Bank of South Pacific, and the New Zealand High Commission.”

The champions in the Battle of the Ministries category – Saucy ASF (Seabed Minerals/Environment). SERENA HUNTER/21050317

“Cook Islands Canoeing is grateful for continued sponsorship from 21.3 Vaiana’s, Trader Jacks, Vodafone and Island Craft. We also welcome onboard Castaway Resort. Meitaki maata for your support of Oe Vaka.

“And to all our volunteers from our clubs Live Free, Ngakau Toa Vaka and Te Tupu O Te Manava, thank you for making it happen. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves and look forward to seeing you all race again.”


Handstand Competition – Bradley Heather (BSP); First in Reverse (Slowest Time) – MFEM Million Dollar Babes 1:19:66 minutes; Fastest Time – Kitelicious 1:02:03 minutes; Best Dressed Team – CIPS Sunny Side Up; Battle of the Ministries – Saucy ASF (Seabed Minerals/Environment) 1:06:44 minutes, Finding Nemo (Marine Resources) 1:12:55 min, Hubba Hubba (Cook Islands Customs) 1:14:26 min, The Million Dollar Babes (Finance & Economic Management) 1:18:09; Back of the line final – Cash Bandicoots (BSP) 1:15:41 mins; Call Me Maybe (Vodafone) 1:16:73 mins, Super Duper (CINSF) 1:18:44 mins; Grand Final – Kitelicious (KitesUp) 1:02:03 mins, Finding Nemo (Marine Resources) 1:08:95 mins, Saucy ASF (Seabed Minerals/Environment) 1:09:34 mins.