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Thursday 30 September 2010 | Published in Regional


Saturday’s condition for the 15km oe vaka race in the long distance race series was not for the faint hearted.

The north easterly wind with sloppy choppy surf for most parts of the race put all 11 crews through their paces.

Heading out of Avarua and heading east towards the turning point at Turangi saw the Ngakau Toa Open men take the lead. By the turn it was still anyone’s race.

Whether it was the choice of lines or use of spray skirts it was Te Tupu O te Manava 1 who took first place in a respectable 1hour 12 minutes and Ngakau Toa Vaka 1 just 30 seconds behind. The women’s division also had its share of excitement with a restocked Te Tupu o Te Manava open women’s back in mix.

Despite a much improved performance from the last race, it wasn’t enough to shake the strong and focused Ngakau Toa Vaka 1 from their winning streak who finished in a smart 1 hour 28. Ngakau Toa Vaka 2 took third place behind Te Tupu o Te Manava 1s 1 hr 28 min and 55 second effort.

Junior paddlers were also out in what would have to have been their toughest race so far this year. Despite one crew taking an unexpected flip, all competitors made it home and earned some well deserved ‘we did it’ bragging credits as well as points for their clubs in the competition. We can expect to see more racing on Saturday for race three of the series.

Results: 1, TT 1 (Reuben) - Open Men - 1:12:03; 2 NTV 1 (Tupuna) - Open Men - 1:12:47; 3 TT 2 (Sani) - Open Men - 1:16:34; 4 NTV 2 (Rob) - Open Men - 1:18:05; 5 TT 3 (John Boby) - Open Men - 1:27:36; 6 NTV 1 (Jane) - Open Women - 1:28:.09; 7. TT 1 (Lyn) - Open Women - 1:28:55; 8 NTV 2 (Tara) - Open Women - 1:35:48; 9 NTV 3 (male steerer) - Open Men - 1:38:26; 10 TT 2 (Em) - Open Women - 1:40.09; 11 NTV (U19 Juniors) - DQ - flipped and turned around at Matavea point - 1:03:43.