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Aito race looms large on horizon

Wednesday 28 April 2010 | Published in Regional


Momentum is gathering for the first Aito Cook Islands oe vaka race with major and supporting sponsors signed up.

Pacific Resort Rarotonga and Air Raro have signed up as the major sponsors of the inaugural Aito Cook Islands event.

Air Raro is supplying the four plane tickets for the winners of the Aito Cook Islands to take part in the pinnacle Aito event – the Aito Tahiti where the world’s paddlers converge to test their skills.

Pacific Resort Rarotonga will be the home of the Tama Aito event for junior and novice paddlers.

Supporting sponsors are Trader Jacks, Island Craft, Innovative Plastics Ltd and Cook Islands News.

Organisers of the event have also launched a website for the Aito Cook Islands, and intending paddlers can log on to to find out more about the races.

The 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 and women’s 12km race receive the tickets to the Aito Tahiti event.

The oe vaka races will be in rudderless V1 canoes.

The event will begin with the under 16 and novice Aito Tama races on Friday, June 11.

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

The Aito Tama will be over a 7km course through the Muri and Titikaveka lagoon with fantastic prizes up for grabs.

The main Aito Cook Islands race will start from Trader Jacks 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.

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 will go back into junior oe vaka development.