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Monday 9 January 2012 | Published in Regional


In between sailing and cultural performances, the Cook Islands Optimist sailors at the Opti Worlds in Napier are putting the country on the map for many who never knew the Cooks existed.

The five sailors representing the Cooks are having a blast at the Opti Worlds despite not registering the best performance in the teams racing.

Team leader Lindan Pene says that there is still plenty of racing for the local kids and room to improve sailing skills.

On more positive things, we had our Cook Islands Cultural Performance here at the worlds venue which was an amazing success, reports Pene.

Thanks to Papa Makirai Ioane and the dance troupe, the Cook Islands was put on the map for many of the countries who came to watch who previously had no idea we existed!

We cannot say thank you enough to our local Cooks community for their unceasing support.

Pene says the crowd of well over 100 people loved the night which went on much longer than originally planned and that Team Cook Islands were still being congratulated by other countries the next day for putting on such a great show.

Several countries including Germany, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, Brazil, Portugal, and Belgium have all risen to the challenge to match the on stage prowess of the Cooks.

We may not be winning much on the water but when it comes to culture we are the champions!

The Cook Islands team still have a few more days of racing and anything can happen on the water.