Wednesday 23 November 2011 | Published in Regional
It was success all round for junior paddlers at yesterdays Mapu Oe Vaka races in Muri with clubs from New Zealand, Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Australia all sharing wins.
The junior paddling event got started with a moving turou (welcome) ceremony along Muri beach where some 250 paddlers walked to the paddling base next to the Sails Restaurant and Bar.
The day included lagoon races and sprints in the V6 and V1 divisions for paddlers in the under 14, under 16 and under 19 categories.
While all the clubs enjoyed success the crew from the Sunshine Coast of Australia were the most successful on the water taking out the under 16 womens 500m V6 sprint, under 19 womens 500m V6 sprints, under 14 mixed 4km V6 race, under 16 mens 6km V6 race, under 16 womens 6km V6 race, under 16 womens 500m V1 race won by Bec Rasmussen and in the under 19 mens 500m V1 sprint won by Mitch Olds.
Cook Islands crews also had their fair share of success throughout the day including wins in the under 14 mixed 250m V6 race won by the Ngakau Toa crew whose under 16 mens crew won the 500m V6 sprints while team Araura Enua won the under 19 womens 500m V6 sprints a second ahead of the Sunshine Coast team in a time of 02:39.
Top Aitutaki junior paddler Tuangaru Rima was the pick of the bunch in the under 19 womens 500m V1 sprints edging out Jenaya Davis by just two seconds to win in 2:47.
It was certainly another fantastic day of Vaka Eiva paddling with all the junior paddlers signalling that the future of the sport is safe with them.