Five Islands canoe club takes on world


From the Cook Islands to Cronulla, the Five Islands Outrigger Canoe Club have racked up the kilometres to start their new season.

Back at home primed to continue their campaign this weekend, the club has just returned from a trip to Rarotonga, where they competed in the 10th annual Vaka Eiva.

With over 1000 paddlers participating from around the globe, the Vaka Eiva is considered one of the premier events in the sport, played out on picturesque waters around the Cook Islands.

Five Island Outriggers sent a team in the Masters Mixed 12km V6 class, and while the group didn't claim any major accolades, team member Peter Bowery said the trip was a success.

"We were really happy with how we went," Bowery said.

"The thing about the Vaka Eiva is that it is an international event so you get teams from Canada, America, New Zealand, so it is high quality."

Bowery was one of 10 competing members from the Five Islands Club, which were assisted by a support group.

"It is an inter-changing crew, we have around 90 members in the club," Bowery said.

"We nominated earlier in the year that we would be going and those that were interested put the team together, and then we started training in March right through winter in preparation for the regatta."

The outrigger canoe competitive season starts in November and runs until May, with an average of around one regatta every three weeks.

Five Islands will continue their campaign at the Cronulla Outrigger Canoe Club this weekend.

"It is fairly young into the season, we are sending up five teams," Bowery said.

"We have four in the short course, which is about 8 to 9 kilometres, and then a team in the long course, which is about 18 kilometres."

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