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Friday 26 November 2010 | Published in Regional


Of all the crews racing Vaka Eiva this year, the Unsquashables might have the least combined paddling experience – but they’re probably having the most fun.

A few months ago, a group of local squash players were having some post-tournament drinks, and spontaneously resolved to enter the biggest and most competitive paddling festival of the year.

They bought the one vaka leftover from last year’s Pacific Mini Games and decided to go for it.

The crew wasn’t able to start training straight away because the canoe was undergoing maintenance, but for the past month, they’ve been training two or three times a week – a “crash course” in training, Unsquashable Brett Baudinet called it.

They took 14th in the open men’s V6 Iron on Monday, and brought up the rear in the mixed V6 Iron later that afternoon. They were again in on the action at yesterday’s V6 sprints.

“Vaka Eiva’s not finished – we’re still expecting a first,” laughed Unsquashables’ Remy Wearing. “Our vaka’s doing well – except when we’re in it.”

For The Unsquashables, Vaka Eiva is a chance to do a bit of paddling and a lot of socialising – they’re keeping the fun in the festival.