Local boy Gordon Heather was the standout local rider at the Manureva Aquafest kitesurfing competition last week
Tahiti riders dominated the local event although local riders including Ina Nooroa, Evaraima Koteka and Pauro Arnold showed that they too have impressive skills on the water and in the air.
Aitutaki rider Titi Kaukura also entered and it was clear his skill set is developing rapidly.
Tahiti rider Tetuatau Leverd was the king of the freestyle event with fellow countryman Raiarii Fadier taking out second and Gordon Heather clinching third.
The tables turned in the course racing division with Raiarii Fadier crossing the line first followed by Tetuatau Leverd in second and Gordon Heather taking out third.
It was no surprise then that the three men were the top three overall riders of the competition.
In the women’s division it was Australia’s Andrea Phillips that wowed the judges to take first place with local base American rider Brynn Acheson taking second and Australian Megan Bell winning third.
The riders and local organisers gave back to the community by giving Aitutaki children plenty of thrills learning to kitesurf through the kite school programme.
Some of the children even had the opportunity to hitch a ride with two win world champion Jesse Richman and are certainly eager to see the riders return for more fun next year.
Loads more fun was had during the Aquafest event where riders took time out to put their swimming and paddling skills to the test.
There was even a kids division with Aitutaki lad Quentin Schofield showing the international riders a thing or two as the 8-year-old confidently kited on his own.
The closing ceremony at O’rongo Centre was a feast of culture fun with Aitutaki dancers and guest fire dancers Matt and Vasukee from Australia wowing the crowd with their skills.
Organisers of the event would like to thank the people of Aitutaki along with emcee Terangi Tamati for including her junior paddlers in the Watersport fun.
Meitaki maata to event sponsors Tourism Cook Islands, Air Rarotonga, Cook Islands Yacht Squadron, The Reef Motel, Etu Moana, Telecom, Samade on the Beach, Vonnias, Wet n Wild, Summerfield Systems, Pakas Pearls plus standout individual support from Stephen Doherty, Misepa Isamaela, Quentin and Melelino Schofiled, Po’o Bishop, Ngaa Tiria, Thomas Koteka, Sarah Moreland, Retire Puapi’i, Sam Napa and Sam, Pira Blake and Mii Blinkhorn. – MW