Each year runs the world famous Hawaiki Nui Va’a outrigger canoe race in Tahiti and Her Islands. The competitors are youth, women and men. The boats are either single or teams. The race is from Huahine via Raiatea / Taha’a and ends in Bora Bora. The race is divided into sections. The canoes will race from island to island with celebrations along the way. While using modern boats for this race, outrigger canoes, large ones with sails, were used for the Polynesians to migrate and travel the Pacific to find new homes. Legend has it that the Moari of New Zealand came from Rarotonga, Cook Islands by large outrigger canoe centuries ago.
This year it runs from October 31 to November 2, 2018. The race is 129 kilometers, about 80 miles. It links each of the islands with much celebration during the race, at the finish line and on into the night with food, dancing, and music.
The excitement builds along the route. The support for entries is strong, many times raucous, from family and friends. If you like to see local events this is a wonderful opportunity.
The canoes these days are made of modern materials but all based on the original outriggers that were used for fishing, daily transport for the things of life, and traveling farther to discover new islands. The ancient outriggers all had sails and would navigate by stars, moon, sun, currents, water temperature, and even the bird flight pattern. Sailing this way became innate to the navigator on the outrigger after years of practice and training. At a young age, a child would be placed in the sea to feel the sea, the currents, and water temperatures.
At the end of November and into December is another endurance race called the KXT Watermana. It is only on Bora Bora. It begins on November 26th and ends on December 2nd. The race is comprised of competitions with outrigger canoes, swimming, surf-skiing, and stand up paddle boards in both beginner and experienced categories. This competition brings endurance athletes from around the world to test themselves.
Both events are well worth attending for the sport and the enjoyment of participation with the local population.
Time is right to go. Contact me to set up a time to discuss these and other events in the islands.
Have a great South Pacific and Trade Wind week! Enjoy the summer!