Press Release – Cook Islands Travel
Thirty-six New Zealand paddling teams are heading to the Cook Islands next week to participate in the celebrated Vaka Eiva Paddling Festival.Kiwi Teams Paddle Against The World In Cook Islands
Thirty-six New Zealand paddling teams are heading to the Cook Islands next week to participate in the celebrated Vaka Eiva Paddling Festival.
Held from 18 to 25 November, 500 overseas paddlers will descend on Rarotonga (population approx 9,000) along with an expected 100 paddler supporters. New Zealanders are a driving force behind the Vaka Eiva festival in terms of participation and visitation with over 350 heading to the event. Teams from as far north as Kaitaia and as deep South as Dunedin will compete against paddlers from Australia, Hawaii, Canada and Cook Islands in a series of races including open ocean racing and sprints, which are held on Muri Lagoon.
Since its inauguration in 2004 with some 200 paddlers it has swiftly developed into the largest sporting event for the Pacific Island nation.
Lara Collins of the national paddling association Waka Ama New Zealand has attended all seven Vaka Eiva events.
“It’s such a fun event to be a part of,” she says. “An event like this in the stunning Cook Islands gives New Zealand clubs and paddlers an incentive to keep paddling through the cold winter months. So many teams get back to New Zealand and then book their return flights for the following year! This is my eighth year attending and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
The Vaka Eiva festival – considered the only true Polynesian sport – is a great chance to participate in the culture of the islands with traditional welcomes, dancing, drumming, carving and craft works along with night markets, canoe carving, trade days for the sister islands and a charity swim.
Vaka Eiva sponsors include Cook Islands Tourism, Cook Islands News, Trader Jacks Bar & Grill, Pacific Resort, and New Zealand beer Steinlager.
For more information visit http://www.cookislands.travel