Members of the first three open women’s teams in the Round Raro V6 36km relay race on Saturday. Picture: CICA/22112702
It was a tit for tat battle until the last 5-kilometre when Pinuela Boys led by Cook Islander Teremoana Tere pulled ahead to win the Oe Vaka Nationals’ Round Rarotonga V6 36km Relay Race on Saturday.
The New Zealand-based club finished the highly
anticipated race in a time of 2.57.19 hours.
Rarotonga’s Te Tupu led by Reuben Dearlove and made up
of mostly masters paddlers finished close behind in 2.59.01 hrs followed by Ngakau
Toa. The men in blue led by Tupuna Amo rounded out the top three overall in a
time of 3.16.23 hrs, with a couple of their paddlers enjoying their first Round
Raro changes race.
The experienced Te Tupu’s Team Maroro led by Serena
Hunter looked strong and comfortable through the challenging conditions, coming
in fourth overall and the first women’s crew in a time of 3.38.06 hrs.
Te Tupu fielded three women’s crews for the race, with
their second open crew led by Emilene Taulu taking second placing in a time of
3.51.46 hrs, and Ngakau Toa led by Tara Cumming with a number of juniors
finishing third in 3.56.35 hrs.
The race around the island was run clockwise, with the
south easterly conditions giving paddlers a decent headwind for the first part
of the race up around Avana, and then a good surf leg from Taakoka down to
Rutaki, where the top two men’s teams exchanged leads, and then another upwind
slog from Edgewater to the finish to a cheering crowd at Trader Jacks.