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Paddlers ready to dig deep in Cook Islands Games Oe Vaka sprint races

Thursday 29 September 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Paddling, Sports

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Paddlers ready to dig deep in Cook Islands Games Oe Vaka sprint races
Atiu/Enuamanu paddlers hit the water at Muri beach to prepare for the Cook Islands Games. Picture: TAHITI ISAAKA/22092801

All participating island teams (10) will be digging in deep and fast with their paddles in the Oe Vaka sprint races for the 2022 Cook Islands Games on Saturday at Muri Beach.

“It’s going to be a great feisty competition,” said president of the Cook Islands Canoeing Association, Teina Taulu.

“The 1000 metre sprint will be an exceptional race to watch, it is very challenging … it’s anybody’s race,” said Taulu.

This is the first time in a while the sprint races have been brought back.

“The sprints are good for scouting talent for next year’s Pacific Games,” Taulu said.

The sprints will be held at Muri lagoon which is the only suitable place where this event can be held “no matter what the tide”.

Atiu/Enuamanu paddlers had their first and only training session with the male paddlers on Monday afternoon in Muri.

Master paddler and team coach Serena Hunter said: “It was great to get together and mix it up and practice our turns.”

The crew of ladies have been training three days a week for the past six weeks.

“It’s been great having paddlers coming out of the woodwork after time out, and combining paddlers from different clubs and working on blending together.

“We have a great crew of ladies and looking forward to having some fun in the games,” said Hunter.