Rarotonga has a very active sailing club that meets at Sails Restaurant in Muri on Saturdays. Sailing takes place on the lagoon in front of the restaurant.
Sailors compete in two man Sunbursts and also modified traditional-style outriggers. These sailing canoes are an exotic and graceful sight on Muri lagoon. They are 18 foot long and with a crew of three make for some fast and exciting sailing.
If you would like to be part of the action, come along on Saturday and ask one of the club members. You will be made very welcome. Racing starts at 1.30pm.
At the same time as embracing modern sailing, Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Manihiki are also reviving traditional vaka designs.Oe Vaka - Cook Islanders' passion
Paddling outrigger canoes (Oe Vaka) - whether as part of a team or solo - has become a passion for many Cook Islanders and a seriously competitive sport. Both men and women's teams have rigorous training schedules. On Rarotonga you see the paddlers training in front of Trader Jacks during the early evening or off the beach at Muri Lagoon.Oe Vaka - it's exciting and competitive
Outrigger canoes were, and still are, used for fishing outside the reef and in 1984 the first outrigger canoe was paddled in Rarotonga for sport rather than necessity. Twenty five years later some of those early paddlers are still heavily involved and thrilled to see the number of youngsters who have become involved and the success of the sport.
Vaka Eiva - a week of international paddling competitions and cultural festivities hosted by the Cook Islands - is now one of the biggest cultural events on Rarotonga. Vaka Eiva is held in November.