Winner of the men’s singles Andre Tutaka George, and Reuben Dearlove. TORU NOOROA/23071705
Te Tupu O Te Manava paddlers Andre Tutaka George and Serena Hunter took out the Cook Islands Canoeing Association (CICA) national singles championships over the weekend in a hotly contested 18k race from Avana harbour to the Arorangi jetty.
Good challenging conditions saw paddlers with a surf
leg from Avana, flattening out towards Trader Jacks, a choppy swell around the
seawall and into some good headwind and waves for the final leg to the jetty.
Eighteen paddlers took to the starting line in Avana
for the 18k, with some doing the distance for the first time.
Andre Tutaka George had a great battle at the front of
the pack with veteran champ Reuben Dearlove.
Tutaka George held a lead of some 600m at the halfway
mark, with Dearlove milking the chop at Avatiu and around the seawall to close
the gap and battle hard in the upwind to the finish line with only 13 seconds
separating the two.
He finished in 1.30.27 with Dearlove the first master
male in 1.30.40.
Visiting New Zealand paddler Julius Petersen was third
over the line - 1st in the open men’s in 1.33.15, with Damien
Heather who has had a smashing season coming in 2nd place for the
open men’s in 1.35.55, and Pomare Pittman 3rd in 1.37.55.
Worlds squad paddlers Raniera Ellison, Aurora Mataora
(AJ), Ben Raela and Teava Hunter rounded off the open men’s division with
little over a minute separating the four.
Arno Theijssen took out the second master male in
1.44.47 with Richard Denny coming out of the woodwork to race placing third in
the masters in 1.53.18.
race was a bit clearer cut with veteran paddler Serena Hunter remaining
unbeaten to take the title in 1.45.36.
Ngakau Toa Vaka paddlers Talissa Koteka and Ana File
Heather took 2nd and 3rd
v1 in 1.54.45 and 1.55.05 both their first race of the distance, with Tara
Cumming and Joyce Fortes rounding off the v1 division in 2.03.40 and
Te Tupu’s Samantha Ellison put in a solid performance
on her oc1 with a sprint finish with Ana finishing in 1.55.04, and Tina
Mitchell oc1 master coming in at a time of 2.02.20.
A short course option of 12k from the Boiler – Outpatients
- Arorangi jetty saw J16 paddler Deedee Akava take line honours in 1.14.37 on
v1, with Kelly Pick leading the ladies oc1 in a time of 1.16.08, and Sheeny
Teariki in 1.29.13.
The only junior female paddler Aleida Tere was the 3rd
female across the line on her v1 in a good time of 1.30.23, with Tahiti Isaaka
and Anna Glassie rounding off the ladies in 1.35.05 and 12.44.40.
The paddlers put in a great effort producing good results,
putting the worlds squad paddlers in good stead for their upcoming efforts in Samoa
in three weeks’ time for the 2023 International Va'a Federation (IVF) World
Long Distance Championships.
This is the first time the country will be represented
in the Open men and women’s teams at the Worlds.
Nationals held on Saturday are: Open men v1 18k: 1st
Andre Tutaka George 1.30.27 (Intnl) Julius Petersen 1.33.15, 2nd Damien Heather 1.35.55, 3rd Pomare
Pittman 1.37.55, 4th Raniera Ellison 1.39.31, 5th AJ
1.40.15, 6th Ben Raela 1.40.27, 7th Teava Hunter 1.40.48.
Master Men v1 18k: 1st Reuben Dearlove 1.30.40, 2nd Arno
Theijssen 1.44.47, 3rd Richard Denny 1.53.18.
women v1 18k: 1st Serena Hunter 1.45.36, 2nd
Talissa Koteka 1.54.4, 3rd Ana File Heather 1.55.05, 4th
Tara Cumming 2.03.27, 5th Joyce Fortes 2.08.40. Open women oc1 18k
Samantha Ellison 1.55.04, Master women
oc1 18k Tina Mitchell 2.02.20, J16 men 12k v1 Deedee Akava 1.14.37, Master
Women 12k oc1 1st Kelly Pick 1.16.08, 2nd Sheeny Teariki
1.29.13, 3rd Tahiti Isaaka 1.35.05, 4th Anna Glassie
1.44.40, J16 women v1 12k Aleida Tere
1.30.23, Master men v1 12k Roly Rolleston 1.49.44.