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Kitesurfing adopts new emblem

Thursday 28 April 2011 | Published in Regional

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The Cook Islands Kitesurfing Association (CIKA) is hoping to give its upcoming competition a local flair, as reflected in the design of its recently-produced racing jersey.

The red and yellow Manureva Dri-fit tops are retailing out of Pakas Pearls in Avarua for $40 each.

They feature the image of a kitesurfer with the head of Tangaroa flying a kite bearing the manutai design.

Two suns in the wings of the kite represent life, a korare motif symbolises strength and a line of waves stands for power.

The shirt reads Manureva, the official title of the Cook Islands International Kitesurfing Competition, which denotes a bird or a thing flying in the air.

CIKA president Teanaroa Worthington says he chose red and yellow for the jerseys because both represent the traditional colours of ariki, who wore bird feathers in those hues.

The idea, he says, was to endow the wearer with the mana of the Cook Islands tupuna and tradition.

Kitesurfing is taking off in countries around the world, and Worthington hopes to give the Cook Islands competition a distinctly Cook Islands feel so as to set it apart from other overseas events, turn it into a source of national pride and keep international kitesurfers coming back.

CIKA is also selling cotton t-shirts for $35 each. The black and white tops feature an image of Maui flying toward the sun, which comes from the cover of a book on Manihiki oral traditions by Kauraka Kauraka. Rennie Peyroux drew the image, and gave Worthington permission to reprint it.