Paddlers gear up for big 2017

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THE FIRST REGATTA: Paddlers who took part in S.O.C.A’s first V6 mini marathon last Saturday.

THE FIRST REGATTA: Paddlers who took part in S.O.C.A’s first V6 mini marathon last Saturday.

It’s a new year and the paddling world of Alo Vaa Samoa is set to kick off once again with the Taula Strong V1 Series. With daylight saving still on the calendar the first race will be this Saturday 28 January 2017 from 4:30pm. The course will be a very tough challenge as paddlers come out of a very festive holiday season with minimum to probably no training. 

The race is sure to test the fitness level of all paddlers as most of them will be pushing the limits trying out for Team Samoa for the first long distance world championship to be held in Tahiti in June this year. This Saturday’s 15km race is the first of eight races for this season. 

It will start from Mulinuu paddling upwind to Mapuifagalele for the turn and then back to Mulinuu on a downwind direction for the finish. There will also be a half course of 9KM for anyone who just wants to have a fun paddle at a moderate pace. 

The tide will be over mid tide as it sets on high and the wind will be blowing at 12km/hour at a NE direction. 

Last year, 49 paddlers in total participated in the V1 series. 

“We hope that we can pass the 50 mark this year as more paddlers are showing interest for paddling the single canoe.”

The Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association (S.O.C.A) held its opening race last Saturday with two categories. The Open mens’ and the Open Mix (Men and Women). There were 6 teams in all that showed up for the V6 Mini Marathon. 

The Tautai OCC captained by Tasi Esekia won the Open Mix category with a time of 31 minutes 48 seconds at a distance of 6KM. The Laumei OCC captained by Elton Petersen took out the Open Men’s category with a time of 45 minutes 24 seconds at a distance of 9KM. 

It was a very tough race for all six teams as they all showed heart and will to paddle under hot conditions and choppy waters. Canoe Clubs that participated were Laumei OCC, Tautai OCC, Nafanua OCC and Millenia Vaa OCC. 

There were sausage sizzles to be enjoyed after the races and it was a BYO drinks event. So come this Saturday The TAULA STRONG V1 Series will be no laughing matter as the distance of 15KM will truly and surely test many of our local paddlers. 

Esera Aumua who will be defending his title running two years in a row will be the man to beat but that will take paddling to another level.

 “At the end of the day we all want to stay safe on our ocean waters and must keep a lookout for one another when we are paddling, especially on days where the ocean can be rough with very strong currents. So get your vaa ready, get your paddle ready and we shall see you down at Mulinuu Vaa Base Camp for the TAULA STRONG V1 Series Race # 1. Bring your STRONG!” 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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