A Pacific Islands sailing regatta in the Cook Islands has been on tenterhooks after the nearby Samoan tsunami disaster caused over 100 deaths. There are reports of one New Zealand fatality.
The Cook Islands are about 150nm from Samoa, and a sailing regatta has been hosted at Aututaki for all of this week. Surrounding islands have been devastated, where waves of four metres hit.
Sail-World spoke to one of the regatta officials, New Zealander, Ralph Roberts on the water at Aututaki, who said that mid-afternoon, New Zealand time there had been little effect. 'The tide dropped about half a metre', Roberts said, 'but otherwise there was nothing.'
Roberts was surprised to hear of the level of damage in Samoa, indicating that the effects of the tsunami have been localised to the epicentre of the earthquake.