Another year of competition has begun for Samoa’s V1 paddlers.
Last Saturday was the first race of Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association (S.O.C.A.) V1 series. V1 races are individual events where one paddler is on his/her own va’a (canoe).
This is a challenging contest where paddlers not only test their speed, but a collection of skills.
Endurance, strength, technique, control of the va’a, and mastering the ever changing ocean was in full display.
Paddlers of all ages took to the water for a short but demanding 8km race. The heat from the sun couldn’t hold back the spirit for Saturday’s competitors. “That was a tough one”, said Billy Peters, President of S.O.C.A. who was also among the paddlers.
The course started in Apia Harbor went straight outside to the new red, green and yellow harbor markers and back around before finishing again in front of the harbor’s beach.
Laumei Outrigger Club from Mulinu’u dominated the competition with strong first, second, and third place finishes.
Dan Conley, first place, Elton Peterson, second place and Ed Peseta, third place were tight together from start to finish. The spirit of paddling is alive and well in our Pacific home, and it is a great sport for men and women of all ages.
If you want to meet great people, improve your fitness, and enjoy our beautiful ocean, head to Taumeasina, Matautu, or Mulinu’u and give paddling a try with one of our six local paddling clubs.