Hawaiki Nui Va'a

Each year, The Hawaiki Nui Va'a attracts hundreds of canoe racers. This year, teams are from the Islands of Tahiti, France, Hawaii,Easter Island, Japan. They compete for 3 days from the islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Taha’a and Bora Bora.

Imagined in 1985, the Hawaiki Nui marathon race came to life in 1992. It is 129 km long and connects the following leeward islands: Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa and Bora Bora. The 3 stops of the canoe race vary between 25 to 60 km to go through the most beautiful islands such Raiatea, Taha’a, Huahine and Bora Bora and last between 2h to 4h30.

From the first event, the purpose has been to promote the practice of high seas va’a (canoe) at a regional and international level. Every year, hundreds of canoes (followed by hundreds of other boats) run to win the prestigious title. The arrival of the canoe racers to each island is a moment to celebrate and meet the warm people of the island. The nights are animated by traditional music and dances in an international atmosphere which is a poignant moment of cultural life and Polynesian sport. Today, the Hawaiki Nui is definitely the most important canoe race and the most well-known internationally; this is an event to be attended when having a chance to stay in the islands during that time of the year.

Photo Credit: Roberto R.

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