25 Nov 2014

Sport: New faces turn out for Rarotonga's Vaka Eiva festival

3:30 pm on 25 November 2014

Organisers of Rarotonga's annual Vaka Eiva outrigger canoeing festival says they've been heartened by another strong turnout this year, despite significant competition.

Close to 600 paddlers are competing in the week-long event, which has been running for the past 11 years.

The event co-ordinator, Josh Goddard, says that'a a good result, considering the World Sprints were held in Rio earlier this year.

"We had for the first time four crews come from the UK and four crews came from Maui and Hawaii [and] we've got Canada, Tahiti, Australia [and] New Zealand so it was a good turnout".

The Vaka Eiva races began on Saturday local time and run until Friday.

The main event, the Round Raro Relay races, begins later this week.