Thursday, January 26, 2012

MOTU-2 MOTU 2011

Check out this article from Cook Island News...

Aitutaki lays it on for epic race

29 Nov
Rarotonga national women’s paddler Chrissy Thomas sets the pace for the winning Motu to Motu crew under the name of SunTV.
Rarotonga national women’s paddler Chrissy Thomas sets the pace for the winning Motu to Motu crew under the name of SunTV. 11112835

Aitutaki's first ever Motu to Motu oe vaka race yesterday was one of epic proportions.

It took the six participating crews 36km across the expansive Aitutaki lagoon on a day best described as having four seasons in one day.

But before all the action and on water fun the six crews and Aitutaki islanders gathered at Arutanga harbour for a blessing ceremony that included a minute of silence for the late Alan Maki a passionate Aitutaki paddler who died during last weeks Vaka Eiva round Raro Relay Race.

The canoes, decorated Aitutaki style in ei and greenery, along with paddlers and support boat drivers were all blessed by the pastor before canoes were launched and the adventure began.

Just out from the Arutanga harbour the six canoes including four crews from Aitutaki lined up one under the name of United Nations carrying a number of international and local based paddlers as well as the aptly named SunTV crew made up of paddlers from the Sunshine Coast and Rarotonga national paddlers.

With canoes more or less in a line, the green flag was raised and the race was on.

Taking off from the start line first and so gaining the best race line was the SunTV crew who were closely chased by the United Nations and Aitutaki Under 19 crew.

The first leg of the race was a straight out 6km sprint to Honeymoon Island for the first shallow water changeover.

The shallow water changeover can only be best described as chaotic and replacement paddlers in hip high water lunged into the vaka as outgoing paddlers dove straight into the shallows.

It was certainly a sight to behold with paddles, legs and arms flying in all directions. The scene became more chaotic with more canoes at the changeover point hustling for the best position.

Although it looked like a fish feeding frenzy during the changeovers hoots of joy and shrieks of laughter were all that could be heard, especially from the Aitutaki crew.

This energy and laughter continued around the course even when there was confusion as to which motu was the one paddlers had to paddle around.

But as organising committee member Stephen Doherty said at the race briefing this years inaugural race was all about the fun of oe vaka.

As they had done from the start team SunTV took the lead and maintained it right to the end without competition to finish in 3 hours and 16 minutes.

Second place went to the United Nations crew who lost their second place placing a number of times during the race to the outstanding Aitutaki under 19 team who had to settle for third place.

United Nations crossed five minutes after the SunTV team in 3 hours and 21 minutes while the under 19 crew crossed the finish line at Ootu beach in 3 hours and 25 minutes.

As soon as crews hit the beach chilli bins were swiftly lined up and beers shared out to the paddlers who came off the water with the widest grins after a superb paddle on Aitutaki lagoon. There is no doubt that with a few tweaks the Motu to Motu race will become the next big thing after Vaka Eiva.

  • Matariki Wilson

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Araura Race Day - 12km

Thanks to the hardy souls who arose bright and early for the Toa Moana hosted 12km race yesterday, August 21, 2010. Conditions were perfect, and the scheduled start of 8am (!) was only delayed by half-an-hour... All crews started together supported by Terangi (keeping time) and Fletcher & Vaea Melvin (keeping pace).

Meitaki atupaka.


Toa Moana
(Masters Men)
Aitutaki Oe Vaka
(Open Men)
Aitutaki Oe Vaka/Toa Moana
(Open Women)
Te Mana
(Open Women)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paddle For Your Lunch Pics

The most perfect spot in the world is Maina in the midday sun. 40 paddlers and another 20 supporters had perfect conditions for a 6km paddle from the wharf at Arutanga to Maina Motu. Six vakas left to the sounds of the Constitution Day celebrations for a 45 minute tutu through the lagoon, weaving around coral heads arriving at Maina to a very special welcome from Auntie Terangi and her girls.

An already huge lunch was supplemented by freshly netted reef fish and everyone settled in for a rest in the shade.

The paddle back was a more leisurely affair, and it was awesome to see the vaka strung out across the lagoon.

A big meitaki atupaka to all who helped with the organising and the boats.

For the complete photo album, click on the picture below:
Paddle For Your Lunch - Maina

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Motu-2-Motu Course Announced

The course has been announced for the Motu-2-Motu race, a 34km changeover race to be help after Vaka Eiva on 1 December 2010. Check it out on Google Maps.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Huli, Huli, Huli

The Toa Moana Masters Men crew experienced the ultimate huli experience, as the iako on their vaka cracked and failed, releasing the ama and causing a port-side huli on Saturday.

With good teamwork and execllent spirits they, and their support boat, manouvered the canoe to safety, jury rigged the ama and made their way slowly back around the top of the island to Amuri.

Once there, Uncle Jnr Maoate went spear fishing whilst the crew bailed... and bailed... and bailed... and secured the canoe to the boat, whereby the canoe, the crew and Jnr's fish made their way back to the fishing club, three hours past their ETA.

Glad to see everyone made it home safe and sound.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Maina Island - Paddle For Your Lunch!

Listen up, paddlers of Aitutaki - keep this day free: Constitution Day, Wednesday 4 August.

An event is being planned where we will all paddle to Maina Island in the morning for a BBQ lunch and a day on the beach, then paddle back to the Fishing Club mid afternoon.

Family members who are not paddling can come out on one of the support boats.

Check out the details and register with your clubs, $5 per person for lunch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunset Training

A quick shot from a Toa Moana training session outside the reef, time to perfection to arrive back at the wharf at sunset...

(L-R: TK, Poppy Doherty, Alan Maki, Stephen Doherty,Roxane Bifrare, Tanya Honore)