Bora Bora Ocean Canoe Paddler
When we were in Bora Bora a few years back, our tender was shuttling us from the quaint town of Vaitape to our cruise ship (article link: m/s Paul Gauguin) when a swarm of Polynesian
sufski outrigger canoe paddlers chased after us like a swarm of bees.
It seems that this is one of the ways that the locals practice for the Mara’amu Surfski Race, or perhaps dream of being in the race. Chasing waves, as they say.
Here’s this from the Mara’amu Surfski Website:
“Mara’amu, the prevailing wind from july to October, can blow between 25-35kts from the southeast. It will generate a windswell that one can surf from Tahaa to Bora Bora. The Mara’amu Surfski Race is more than a race. It’s the gathering of all the polynesian surfski paddlers. A channel crossing, a challenge that is the climax of the paddling surfski season. For a competitive paddler, it’s a great achievement to write his name to the Maraamu Hall of Fame. From all over the world, you will come to compete with us. We’re waiting for you. We want to share our waters with you. And we want to show you what you’ve been missing all this time. We want you to know that paddling in French Polynesia should be on the “Must Do” list of every surfskier. We will not just race. When the race is over, we will celebrate together and respect, friendship and humility will take over the competitive spirit.”
As our tender captain told us, the goal seems to be to paddle like the dickens to catch us, and then ride on the wake or our tender as long as possible.
This was the only guy in the swarm who caught us, and then rode in the wake of our tender.
As local recreation definitely revolves around the waters of the South Pacific, it was interesting to watch this little race of our own.
Who knows, maybe this guy will be a future champion of the Mara’amu Surfski Race.
Update: Rob from surfski.info stopped by and noted in our comments section that these craft are not actually surskis, but canoes w/ outriggers. Thanks for bringing us up to speed Rob!
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