Cook Islands Tourism
Rarotonga has been a bustling hive of activity as a wave of international paddlers have reached our shores for the 17th edition of the much-anticipated Matson Vaka Eiva. With the event scheduled from November 24th to December 1st, 2023, the Avarua harbour has transformed into a hub of energy, camaraderie, and paddling prowess. Over 350 skilled paddlers hailing from New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Tahiti, and the United States have formed 40 teams that will vie for glory in various thrilling races. Among the highlights are the fun V6 6k races, V6 and V1 12k iron challenges and the esteemed Round Raro relay. These competitions promise not only fierce athleticism but also a celebration of culture, friendship, and the sheer joy of being out on the water. The Matson Vaka Eiva is a week-long extravaganza that encapsulates the spirit of the Cook Islands. Participants and spectators alike are in for a treat as they immerse themselves in the unique blend of paddling, festivities and cultural celebration This year's event holds special significance as it welcomes back participants who were present at the inaugural Vaka Eiva in 2004. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of the festival that has grown to be recognized as one of the most enjoyable on the international paddling calendar. Tourism plays a pivotal role in supporting the success of Vaka Eiva, drawing visitors from around the globe to experience the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of the Cook Islands. The event also serves as a gateway for outsiders to appreciate the beauty and hospitality that Rarotonga and its surrounding islands have to offer. Vaka Eiva 2023 is not just a sporting spectacle; it's a celebration of community, athleticism, and the enduring spirit of Rarotonga. As the paddles hit the water, the cheers resounded, we are set to see this year's festival become another resounding success, leaving a lasting impression on all those fortunate enough to be a part of it.