Hawaiki Nui Va'a Race 2005

Story: Kavika Knight

The main event, the 14th edition of the 128.5 km (79.85 miles) Hawaiki Nui Va'a OC-6 race, was won hands down by a rejuvenated and motivated Shell Va'a team of Tahiti. Taking all three legs of the marathon race, with only 1 crew change on the second day (the Hawaiki Nui Va'a race does not allow crew changes during the race, only in-between legs), they managed to set a new overall record of 9 hours 24 minutes 36 seconds, shaving an impressive 22 minutes off the old record set by les Piroguiers de Pirae in 1998.

Winning all three legs, they scored perfect 0 points. Shell Va'a's domination of this year's event seems to have put to rest the legitimacy of their victory in the absence of Ra'i, winner of last year's Hawaiki Nui Va'a. Shell Va'a has shown what they are capable of and they will be the team to watch in 2006.

Finishing a very honorable 2nd, with an overall time of 9 hours 35 minutes and 23 seconds (7 points), was Fareara of Huahine. Peperu Manutea Owen and teammates felt a sense of victory as "amateurs" in the shadow of the "professionals." Rounding out the top five, were Team OPT (Tahiti, 9:40:47, 10 points), Pirae Va'a (Tahiti, 9:47:08, 11 points), and Fare Rua Va'a of Bora Bora (9:45:05, 14 points).

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