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Cook Islands paddlers reign supreme

Tuesday 28 November 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Pacific Games 2023, Paddling, Sports


Cook Islands paddlers reign supreme
The conditions against with heavy chop with easterly winds were very difficult particularly for a lot of our visitors who are not used to heavy ocean. HARVIE ALLISON/23112744

Cook Islands paddlers dominated the V6 12-kilometre races on day two of the 2023 Vaka Eiva yesterday.

Ngakau Toa Vaka was the first team to cross the line in the men’s competition clocking 57.36 minutes.

The Ali Webb-led team also claimed the closely contested open men’s division followed by Reuben Dearlove’s Te Tupu O Te Manava in second place. Te Tupu finished the race with a time of 58.55 minutes.

In the women’s division, the Serena Hunter-led Te Tupu O Te Manava Outrigger Canoeing Club clocked the best time of 1 hour 10.15 minutes. They also claimed the master women’s title.

In the open women’s competition, Ngakau Toa Vaka finished on top with a time of 1 hour, 13.46 minutes, followed by New Zealand’s Mana Wahine (1 hour, 16.09 minutes) and Nga Hau e Wha (1 hour, 18.42 minutes).

There were four 12-kilometre V6 races held in total, starting with women’s races first followed by the men’s before the mixed races.

The conditions against with heavy chop with easterly winds were very difficult particularly for a lot of our visitors who are not used to heavy ocean.

It was a very hard push into the heavy swell to the first turn at Club Raro and then a very fast downhill to a turn at Vaianas which was very wide because of the big surf. The final leg was a push back up to the Tader Jacks, again a wide turn at the Boiler to avoid the big surf.

Racing was close in many divisions and many paddlers commented how thrilled they were to conquer the difficult conditions.

Safety was paramount and there were no concerns.

In the open women’s race, two under-19 girl’s crews raced, and they put some of the experienced paddlers to shame.

The Junior Sprints and the much-anticipated Boiler Swim will be held today.

On Wednesday, the Round Raro Relay (mixed) competition will be held followed by the Round Raro Relay and closing dinner on Friday.


Golden Master Women – 1. Chang Gang 1.14.00, 2. Lanikai Green 2 1.15.51, 3. Oz Squad 1.22.59; Senior Master Women – 1. Whaea Engines 1.11.05, 2. Lanikai Green 1.13.13, 3. Nga Hau e Wha SMW 1.24.33; Master Women – 1. TeTupu 1.10.15, 2. Nga Hau e Wha MW 1.21.22, 3. Hokianga Natives 1.21.52; Junior 19 Women – 1. NTV Juniors 2 1.27.38, 2. Pikirangi 1.50.09; Open Women – 1. NTV Open Womens 1.13.46, 2. Mana Wahine 1.16.09, 3. Nga Hau e Wha 1.18.42. Open Men – 1. NTV Open Mens 57.36, 2. Reuben - Te Tupu 58.55, 3. Makoha 1.01.52; Master Men – 1. Richie - Te Tupu 1.01.42, 2. NTV Master Men 1.06.44, 3. Hokianga Natives 1.10.44; Senior Master Men – 1. Beluga 1.17.23, 2. Golden Bullets 1.20.26, 3. AquaFlow 1.29.44; Golden Master Men – 1. Kolohe Kupuna 1.11.38, 2. Tohivea Vaa 1.15.25, 3. TOF’s 1.15.46; Open Mixed – 1. Pacific Dragons 1.15.27, 2. 4 Mets 1.15.36, 3. Manihiki Auckland Sports New Zealand 1.17.37; Master Mixed – 1. VO2 1.14.09, 2. Central Coast 1.17.19, 3. Hawaiian Outriggers Canoe Voyaging Society            1.25.28; Golden Mixed – 1. Outrigger Australia 1.15.14, 2. Dawes Team 1.19.55, 3. The Wandering Warriors 1.22.37.