The 2012 Hawaiki Nui Va’a

Tahiti’s annual Hawaiki Nui Va’a—an intense outrigger canoe race through the Leeward Group of Society Islands—is set to take place next week! This three-day race starts on Wednesday, November 7th and ends Friday, November 9th, spanning across Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a and Bora Bora. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, here’s the history behind the event. We’ll continue to share updates once everything gets underway; but in the meantime, here’s a great piece from Islands Magazine with more information about what they call “Tahiti’s Super Bowl.”

Team Maupiti, Photo: Shelly Strazis
Team Maupiti, Photo: Shelly Strazis

Photographer Shelly Strazis noted that the event is all about “paddling to exertion, napping on floors and repeating.” She followed one team from the island of Maupiti during their training last year and described the experience as “the truest rush I’ve ever experienced in Tahiti.”

To prepare for the race, she noted that most teams “usually practice late in the day during the week, then paddle for hours on the weekend out in the open ocean.” She was especially impressed with the team from Maupiti, saying, “It’s no wonder the guys are in such phenomenal shape. They’d take training runs to the top of the mountain on Maupiti, sometimes doing it while talking on their cell phones. Some of the guys would run to the top two or three times a week. And for outrigger practice, they lift heavy tires into the canoe to make paddling more difficult.”

To hear more of what she had to say, read her story or check out the video below:


8 thoughts on “The 2012 Hawaiki Nui Va’a

Share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.