NZ crews to contest famous Hawaiki Nui Race
23 October, 2008
New Zealand crews to contest famous Hawaiki Nui Race
Two New Zealand crews will compete in Tahiti against 141 outrigger canoes from throughout French Polynesia, France, Hawaii, Australia and New Caledonia in the 17th annual Hawaiki Nui Race.
The two Manu Wai crews from Waitakere will contest the senior men’s and open women’s sections in the biggest, most prestigious outrigger canoe race held each year in French Polynesia.
“The Hawaiki Nui Race ranks in importance alongside the famous Molokai Hoe Race held each year in Hawaii and we know the New Zealand crews will be extremely competitive,” says Robert Thompson, Regional Director, Tourisme Tahiti Australia/New Zealand.
The three-day, three-stage, four-island race, which starts on October 29, is held in the Leeward islands, covering a total distance of 129 kilometres. “This year’s race starts from the island of Huahine with the first stage covering the 44.5 kilometres to Raiatea. The second stage starts from Raiatea and churns up the water of the lagoon shared with the island of Taha’a, covering a distance of 26 kilometres. The final, and often most dramatic stage starts from Taha’a on October 31 for the 58 kilometre leg to Bora Bora and the finish line in front of the island’s famous Matira Beach,” said Mr Thompson.
Favourite for the event is local Tahitian team Shell Va’a which has recently won the Molokai Hoe Race for the third consecutive year and is looking to win its fourth straight Hawaiki Nui Race.