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Sixteen teams to battle in Oe Vaka Corporate Race

Saturday 25 February 2023 | Written by CI News Staff | Published in Paddling, Sports

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Sixteen teams to battle in Oe Vaka Corporate Race
Kitelicious once again took out the Corporates Oe vaka title on Saturday. 19041517/19041520/CICA

The fun filled Oe Vaka Corporate Race will return this afternoon at Vaiana’s Beach in Nikao after a lapse of four years due to Covid pandemic.

Sixteen teams will battle for the top prize in the V12 200 metres sprint event starting with registrations at 12 noon.

The first race will start at 1pm.

Cook Islands Canoeing Association (CICA) president Teina Taulu said the event was last held in 2019.

“We didn’t hold it in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. And then in 2022, people were coming out of Covid, working on their businesses and getting back on track and a whole lot of people left the country so we decided not to hold it that year.

“Everyone is now keen to get back on the water.”

The 16 participating teams come from various sectors – government agencies, private sector, banks, tourism (hotels) and families.

The teams are required to bring 11 paddlers – maximum of six men per team and maximum two Cook Islands Canoeing paddlers per team. Cook Islands Canoeing Association will provide the 12th paddler (steerer) who will be allocated on the day of the race.

“The two CICA paddlers are those who have represented the country at international events like the Pacific Games and international federation competitions,” Taulu said.

“CICA will provide the steerer and nobody knows who their steerers will be. The steerers will stay with a team for four races before they will be changed. All the men and women steerers we will provide are experienced steerers.

“Training has been going well and all teams are looking forward to the event.”

The competition will get underway with a seeding race and each team will get three races each before the final four is determined.

Taulu said they would have a lot of fun activities in between the races to keep the participants and spectators entertained.

The annual Oe Vaka Corporate Race is a fundraiser event used to raise money for national teams competing at international competitions.

Cook Islands will compete in the International Va’a Federation 2023 World Distance Championships in Samoa in August and the Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands later in the year.