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Tuesday 22 November 2011 | Published in Regional


The Crown Beach Kings oe vaka crew from Australia are proving to be as good as their fighting words after easily taking out yesterdays open mens V6 12km iron race to Avana.

It wasnt all cruisy work though for the Aussie boys who were left in the wake of the Cook Islands National mens squad who were off the start line like a shot.

However the local boys lead was cut short when the Kings showed their muscle to pick them off early and within a few quick strokes they were clearly ahead.

Try as the local boys, paddling under the name of Tumutevarovaro and lead by stalwarts Fletcher Melvin and Reuben Dearlove couldnt catch up to the Kings.

They kept the Kings in their sight all the way up to the Avana turnaround but the Kings turned on their surfing skills and extended their lead on the way home to win the race in 1:19:07 followed exactly a minute later by the Tumutevarovaro local crew in 1:20:07.

Third place went to the combined Tahiti and Cook Islands crew which included John Beasley and Tungane Manuel.

The crew crossed the line in 1:29:20.

In the womens division racing was tight as the lead canoes stayed bunched together right up to Club Raro before the big girls began to pull away.

Leading the way was the Cook Islands National womens squad who looked strong right throughout the race.

Their biggest competition came from the Crown Beach Belles and Kiwi crew Manuz and Jemimaz who were hot on the local girls heels on the first leg to the Avana point.

On the turnaround the local girls, lead by stroker Joyce Fortes and including Chrissy Thomas, Vaea Melvin, Annie Fisher, Paulina Beddoes and steered by Tara Cummings, still looked fresh and confident for the surf home.

The team crossed the finish line with plenty time on the chasing Belles finishing in 1:39:20.

The Crown Beach Belles, who will once again be the biggest threat on the water for Wednesdays womens round Raro race finished just over 2 minutes behind the local girls in 1:41:50.

Third place went to the Manue and Jemimaz crew with a time of 1:42:44.

The second Cook Islands womens crew placed 6th out of the 15 racing canoes in a time of 1:46:03.

The senior paddlers will take a race today before the highly anticipated Pacific Paddle and Pacific Cup round Raro relay races on Wednesday.