The Hawaiki Nui Va’a race
A major sport event in Polynesia: the outrigger canoe race organised every year in October, where for 3 days, more than 100 traditional canoes compete between Huahine and Bora-Bora.
The first day bring the 2000 racers from Huahine to Raiatea 44.5 km away, after a 4-hour crossing. The second day is a speed race inside the lagoon between Raiatea and Tahaa, in less than an hour and a half. The third day is the most spectacular leg of the race: a 52 km race across the ocean to reach Matira Beach in Bora-Bora, for more than four hours.
Canoe racers from Tahiti, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, New Caledonia, Hawaii and France are the best canoers in the Pacific and in the World.
Preparation is intense, the show is also with the many supporters cheering the teams from fishing boats, outboard motors and official boats and with all the spectators gathered around the finish line.
Excitement reaches its peak and suspense lasts until the last minute. Of course such magnificent event is carried live on television, which gives a mediatic echo to this popular and colorful event. As always in Polynesia, a party atmosphere dominates when supporters welcome the winners with flower leis to the sound of drums and singing.