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Big seas a challenge

Tuesday 19 October 2010 | Published in Regional

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Big wind and surf on Saturday provided paddlers with some of the most challenging race conditions for the year’s national series.

The 18km race got underway with nine crews taking to the start line. The revised two loop race course from Avarua to O’oa and back to Avatiu saw an impressive start with Te Tupu o Te Manava open men jumping out to a canoe-length lead after the first 100 metres with the two Ngakau Toa Vakas determined not to let them get away.

However, it was not meant to be a race of the big boys with Ngakau Toa Vaka open 1 and Te Tupu o Te Manava open men’s crews colliding off Tupapa on the first downwind leg. Both crews were forced to retire with damaged canoes and headed back to the beach for an early shower and BBQ.

It was Ngakau Toa Vaka open men 2 crew that finished in first place with Te Tupu o Te Manava master men’s crew crossing the line in second place. Third place went to Te Tupu o Te Manava mixed open crew made up of five juniors.

Ngakau Toa Vaka open women showed their dominance again this week winning the women’s division taking first place ahead of Te Tupu o Te Manava. Live Free added to their clubs points tally with a third place finish.

Times for the day show that teams are well on track for this year’s Vaka Eiva. If conditions during the week-long November festival are anything like this week, then the locals will definitely have the home advantage. Racing next Saturday will see crews paddle around the island in the national change-over race.

- CICA

Results: Open Men – Ngakau Toa (Tupuna) 1:15:37 – Te Tupu (Sani) 1:17:25 – Te Tupu (Reuben) did not finish – Ngakau Toa (Graham) DQ.

Mixed (Maree) 1:27:44; Open Women – Ngakau Toa (Jane) 1:31:29 – Te Tupu (Lynley) 1:32:56 – Live Free (Paiao) 1:44:28 – Ngakau Toa (Tara) 1:50:04.