Paddlers gear up for one last race

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Paddlers gear up their final race this Saturday the 26th of November

Paddlers gear up their final race this Saturday the 26th of November

The Taula Strong V1 Series will be having their final race this Saturday the 26th of November 2016. 

It will be from Mulinuu Va’a Base camp to Letogo Sand Bank heading out the reef and then a tough paddle back to mulinuu for the finish. 

This open course will be a distance of 18.5 KM and should take our V1 paddlers between 1-HR:40-MIN to 2-HRS long. There will also be a half course for our beginners and junior paddlers or anyone who just wants to have a fun run and simply enjoy a late afternoon paddle. The half course will be only 9KM. 

However, the open course is to help our paddlers who are trying out for Team Samoa to participate in the World Long Distance Championship Event that will be held in Tahiti in June 2017. Samoa has got great potential in this sport and is doing its best to make available the best paddlers come June 2017. 

With Tahiti hosting the first ever World Long Distance Championship it is going to be very tough to beat any of their teams as they are the paddling capitol of the world. It is their National Sport and they paddle with great pride and honour. 

But it doesn’t mean that they are unbeatable. Team Vaka Manu from NZ shocked the paddling world in Australia this year when they defeated the Tahitians in the 500 Meters World Sprints. Lead by Mark Malaki Williams who paced the champs to a very close neck to neck finish against the Tahitians the Vaka Manu Boys took the final race by a split second. 

So we expect to have very tough competition next year but Samoa has to take its place in the International Paddling Community and prove itself as a strong paddling nation and more importantly a great paddling destination. 

After this weekend’s V1 race the V1 Kalapu will host a V6 Marathon on the 10th of December 2016. They will put together their top 6 V1 paddlers as Taula Strong V1 Team and are inviting all paddling clubs to bring their top paddlers for a marathon race that will be between 15KM to 18KM. 

There will also be a half course for juniors and social teams. 

This event will be followed by our End of Year Prize Giving for our overall paddlers who participated right throughout the year from race 1 to 8, our longest race being 21.5KM from Faleapuna to Mulinuu. We thank our Major Sponsor Taula Beverage for their ongoing support of this great sport. 

We are very grateful for their sponsorship with every race we have had. It is not cheap to host a race especially when you are padding in open seas as support boats are required. 

But with ice cold taxis or a chilled refreshing Taula Beer at the end of every race followed by tasty hot BBQ, what’s not to like about this wonderful sport, fitness and exercise aside. SOCA (Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association) will continue to work hard to grow and develop paddling in Samoa by getting more involved in international events and by keeping the consistency of our local races from V1s to V6 on a monthly basis. 

Hope to see you on the water on the 26th November 3PM mulinuu Va’a Base Camp. Va’aTasiKalapu.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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