News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : The Pacific's Challenge - Four Vaka to journey the Islands

The Pacific's Challenge - Four Vaka to journey the Islands

'Vaka Moana - Voyages of the Ancestors - Asian - Polynesian sailing canoe'    Australian National Maritime Museum    Click Here to view large photo

For the first time ever four traditional vaka will assemble in the Waitemata Harbour to make a stand for the Pacific Ocean.

On Sunday April 11th four vaka will sail in Te Kumete O Te Moana Nui, a regatta in the Waitemata Harbour, and then leave Auckland on Wednesday April 14th for a Pacific Ocean Voyage to French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji. In 2011 seven vaka will unite in Auckland to undertake a longer pan-Pacific voyage to Hawaii via French Polynesia.

A fleet of vaka has not set sail across the Pacific for more than 1,000 years. The vaka, all built in Auckland, successfully blend traditional Pacific craftsmanship with modern boatbuilding techniques. This melding of the modern and traditional is a metaphor for of how we should treat our environment – linking the past with the future and reconnecting the Pacific peoples utilising the best of every culture and generation. It’s time to make a change.

The events’ aim is therefore to raise awareness of the environmental issues that face the Pacific Ocean, as well as recapture traditional Pacific voyaging skills and re-establish cultural links between the countries that share the Pacific.

The vaka make up an informal network of voyaging societies, (The Pacific Voyager’s Network), involving New Zealand, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Tonga, Vanuatu and Western Samoa.

The network is supported by Okeanos, a German-based philanthropic organisation formed with the objective of protecting the world’s oceans and marine life.

The four vaka taking part in Sunday’s regatta and the 2010 ocean voyage are: Te Matua a Maui (New Zealand crew), Hine Moana (Western Samoa, Vanuatu, Tongan crew), Uto Ni Yalo (Fijian crew) and Maramaru Atua (Cook Islands crew). Once in Tahiti a full Tahitian crew on Faafaite will join the fleet. Two further vaka (making a total of seven) have also been built and will take part in the 2011 voyage.

Programme for Te Kumete O Te Moana Nui Regatta on Sunday 11th April:

Move your paddle, silently through the water.

· The event will start with an opening ceremony at Bayswater Marina, Auckland, at 8am on Sunday and the four-vaka regatta will start in the vicinity of the Auckland Harbour Bridge at 10am.

· The four vaka will sail to Motuihe Island and back to the start line, returning about 4pm. A closing kava ceremony will follow. At the closing ceremony the bowl (te kumete) will be passed to a new guardian for safe keeping until the next regatta. That guardian will carry the bowl to their home when they sail in the 2010 Pacific Voyage.

· 'Kumete' means large bowl, 'Te Moana Nui' means the great ocean (i.e. the Pacific Ocean). The full meaning is ‘The bowl of the Pacific’.

· All seven vaka were built at Salthouse Boatbuilders, Greenhithe, Auckland. The double-hulled vessels (22m in length) are constructed from e-glass and foam. Traditional boat building techniques are still visible; the hulls lashed together using wooden beams and rope lashings. Authenticity is maintained with the vaka adorned with customary carving, colouring and insignias of each nation. Traditional flax sails and modern sails are used and two of the vaka include a solar power system for auxiliary propulsion.

The 2010 Pacific Ocean Voyage leaving Auckland, April 14th:

On April 14th four vaka (with a fifth vaka joining in Tahiti) will depart from Auckland and sail to French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

· The aims of the voyage are to re-establish cultural links through traditional voyaging and to raise awareness of the key environmental issues threatening the Pacific Ocean - including ocean noise, pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing, acidification and de-oxidation and climate change.

· At each island a vaka will stay behind to continue training crew to use the vaka for cultural and educational purposes (encompassing enterprise, kinship, navigation and ocean conservation). At the same time highlighting how we can interact with the oceans in a quiet, healthy and sustainable way.

· The crews will rediscover traditional sailing and navigational knowledge, skills and customs, which will set the platform for future generations and help to revive and sustain a very important part of Pacific culture.

· The Te Kumete O Te Moana Nui Regatta and the two Pacific voyages have the backing of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which has initiated the Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge. The IUCN brings together 181 countries in a global partnership to help societies to ensure the use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. The target of the Challenge is to achieve a healthy, sustainable and productive Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.

by Debra Douglas


Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

11:43 AM Wed 7 Apr 2010 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Related News Stories:

16 Sep 2014  NZL Sailing Team: No racing for most but one win at ISAF Worlds Day 4
15 Sep 2014  NZL Sailing Team: Slow start for both 470's at ISAF Worlds - Day 3
14 Sep 2014  NZL Sailing Team: Boards and Single handers on Day 2 of ISAF Worlds
13 Sep 2014  NZL Sailing Team: Images from Santander - ISAF World, Day 1
13 Sep 2014  NZL Sailing Team: ISAF Worlds - Racing starts for Lasers and Radials
12 Sep 2014  STACK Winter Champs 2014 - One week to register for coaching
12 Sep 2014  ISAF Worlds: Olympic Qualifier puts Kiwi sailors on the line
11 Sep 2014  Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc slightly shaken and a bit stirred
11 Sep 2014  Gladwell's Line: London stalling
08 Sep 2014  NZL Sailing Team count the days to racing at 2014 ISAF Sailing Worlds

News - USA and the World

A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,

2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco

GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   
Extreme Sailing Series: Physically demanding racing for BAR on Day 2   
Emirates Team NZ: Holding second overall after Day 2 in Istanbul   
Extreme Sailing Series: A force to be reckoned with in Istanbul +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Day 1 images by Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez   
Marseille One Design: GC32's Armin Strom storms ahead on day 2 + Video   

For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





Privacy Policy



Cookie Policy



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT