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Manureva in world tour

Tuesday 1 May 2012 | Published in Regional


Manureva – the Cook Islands’ annual kiteboarding competition – is gearing up to be bigger and better this year.

For the first time, Aitutaki will be a stop on a bona fide world tour – this time, the KTA (Kiteboard Tour Asia) Asia-Pacific Tour.

The KTA (Kiteboard Tour Asia) is one of three main international kiteboarding tours, the other two being the Kitesurf Tour Europe (KTE) and the PKRA (Professional Kiteboard Riders Association) world professional tour.

For Manureva, KTA will provide a panel of judges. Being part of the KTA means rankings will count toward the international world tour, giving local riders the potential opportunity to travel internationally for higher-level competition.

Making that all the more relevant is the Olympic committee’s forthcoming decision of whether to include kitesurfing as an Olympic discipline.

Manureva’s link to the KTA tour means it is likely to have more professional standards and a greater volume of riders. Linking up with the tour will also afford the Cook Islands – and Cook Islands kitesurfers – greater international exposure.

The KTA has international television broadcast agreements with channels in Asia, New Zealand, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. It also has agreements with online television channels – online videos of last year’s tour reached 80,000 hits – and international magazines.

The media coverage in Australia and Asia will be valuable, Cook Islands Kitesurfing Association (CIKA) president Teanaroa Worthington says, as both are markets the local tourism authorities are trying to corner.

Last year marked Manureva’s inauguration, and about 10 riders took part in the competition. This year, Worthington expects dozens.

There will be a locals division and a novice division, and competitors can enter two disciplines – freestyle and course racing.

“We’ll run the course race around the motu so spectators can stand in the middle and watch the whole race go around,” Worthington said.

Already CIKA has organised a closing ceremony and concurrent night market for the end of the competition on Friday, June 29. It has also arranged for the provision of free water taxis from Aitutaki to Maina Iti.

“It’s all pretty exciting stuff, and we encourage people from Rarotonga to go over (to Aitutaki) and be a part of this exciting flying through the air,” Worthington said.

CIKA is accepting registration forms and fees – the cost of registration is $185, which includes meals and T-shirts and transfers from Aitutaki to Maina Iti – for this year’s Manureva competiton.

To register, call Christina Maoate on 78750. Air Rarotonga, Cook Islands Tourism, CISNOC and Tamanu Beach are sponsoring Manureva this year.