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Aito Cook Islands a first

Tuesday 20 April 2010 | Published in Regional


The first ever Aito Cook Islands oe vaka race for V1 paddlers will be staged in early June.

Four tickets to the prestigious Aito Tahiti race will be up for grabs for winners of the Aito Cook Islands races in the open men’s 24km race, open women’s 12km race and the junior under 19 men’s and women’s 12km races.

The Aito Cook Islands event will be raced in rudderless V1 canoes which calls for expert paddling skills as paddlers will need to be able to navigate their vaka without the help of the foot operated rudders.

The event will begin with the mini Aito on Friday June 11 for novice and under 16 paddlers.

This is a great opportunity for novice and junior paddlers to try out V1 paddling.

The mini Aito will be over a 7km course through the Muri and Titikaveka lagoon.

This race will begin with a blessing ceremony at Muri beach followed by the race currently schedule to run at 4.30pm that day.

Aito Cook Islands medals and fantastic prize packages are up for grabs in the mini Aito.

The main Cook Islands Aito race will be held at Avarua harbour on Saturday June 12.

Open men paddlers will race over a 24km course which will see them complete two circuits of the course that runs from Avarua to the Nikao turnaround, across to the Kii Kii Motel turnaround and back to Avarua.

Open women paddlers and junior under 19 paddlers will race over a 12km course which is one complete circuit of the men’s course.

This race will begin with a blessing ceremony at 9am followed by race briefings and the race itself.

Registrations for the race will close on 1 June with fees at $50 for the open division, $25 for the junior division and $20 for the mini Aito event.

For more information on the race or to register contact race director Fletcher Melvin on 55206 or email, or contact race registration officer Vaea Melvin on 55029 or email

Funds raised from the event, which the Melvins are staging and running independently, will go back into junior oe vaka development.