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Monday 21 November 2011 | Published in Regional


While under 19 paddlers joined their senior counterparts on the open ocean in the OC1 and V1 division races Mapu Oe Vaka paddlers headed out to Muri for their first day of racing.

Before taking to the water, a moving blessing ceremony for the paddlers and their vaka was conducted by staff at the Pacific Resort and Spa long time sponsor of junior oe vaka in the Cook Islands.

Paddlers took to the lagoon in V6 canoes for the 2km and 4km race course in the under 14 mixed and under 16 men and womens division.

In the under 14 mixed division team Turama, team Araura and Sunshine Coast battled stroke for stroke right around the 2km course but it was team Turama from New Zealand that had the extra gas to edge out the Aitutaki team by just 10 seconds to finish in 0:13:35 with team Araura finishing in a time of 0:13:45 and 12 seconds behind them Sunshine Coast cross the line in the tight battle.

Fourth place went to the second Sunshine Coast team who finished in 0:16:06.

Sunshine Coast crews from Australia dominated in the under 16 mens and womens V6 4km race.

In the junior mens division, Sunshine coast were given a real run for their money by Team Turama from New Zealand but Sunshine Coast pipped them across the line by 33 seconds.

Sunshine Coast finished in 0:26:22 followed by Team Turama in 0:26:55 and Team Araura in third with a time of 0:27:16.

In the under 16 girls race Sunshine Coast took out first and second place in a time of 0:29:46 and 0:30:33.

Ngakau Toa vaka missed out on third place by just 5 seconds finishing in 0:30:38.

Junior paddlers will continue racing on Tuesday at Muri beach where the under 16 mixed crew will race over 4km and under 16 men and womens 6km race.

After lunch the junior sprints will follow and medals for all the races will be presented afterwards.