This year’s annual Manureva Aquafest (21-25 August) promises to be bigger and better than ever with some of the world’s biggest stars in attendance for the five day watersports festival held in the stunning waters of the Aitutaki lagoon. The event is more than just a watersports festival; it is a celebration of the ocean and the culture of the Cook Islands and sees competitors doing battle in a wide range of watersports including kite boarding, swimming, SUP (Stand-up paddleboard) and oe vaka racing.
Kiteboarding – the star of the show
Kiteboarding is without a doubt the star of this watersports show and this year’s Manureva Aquafest will feature three days of kiteboarding competition across three different disciplines; Freestyle, Twin-Tip Race and Big Air. All the events will take place in the stunning Moto Tavake right here on Aitutaki and there will be three categories for the freestyle heats; men’s, women’s and juniors with the Twin Tip Race and Big Air events open to everyone.
Each year Manureva Aquafest attracts local and international competitors who showcase their skills on the unique surroundings of the Aitutaki lagoon. The pristine blue waters which are always warm and often flat, provide the ideal conditions for freestyle, racing and big air kiteboarding competitions as well as Oe Vaka racing and SUP races.
International guests this year include some real superstars of the sport who will be mixing it up with the locals.
- Jesse Richman – two time kitesurfing world champion
- Ewan Jaspan – Australia’s number one professional kitesurfer
- Tavita Tinhin – a native Tahitian living in Hawaii and a legend around the South Pacific
This year’s event will also stand as a memorial for 2014 Manureva Aquafest’s waterman of the year, Tetuatau Leverd who sadly passed away late last year. As well as the international competitors who are attending to honour Tetuatau, there will also be a group of Tahitian watermen and waterwomen who will lead Etau’s memorial service which promises to be an emotional event for all who knew him.
The final day of the Manureva Aquafest is known as Aquafest day and is held on Aitutaki in the village and Ootu Beach and will include swimming and SUP races as well as Oe Vaku racing. Following the races, there will be a closing ceremony, prize giving and night market and the final chance for competitors to gather and celebrate what should have been another amazing week right here on Aitutaki.
Register and come and visit the stunning Aitutaki
There are still places available so if you were planning a trip to the Cook Islands, this is the perfect time to pay us a visit. The weather at this time of year should be fairly settled, with warm, sunny days creating the perfect weather for taking part or just sitting back on the beach to watch these amazing athletes competing at the highest level.
You can find out more about the event, registration and images from previous events on the Manureva Aquafest website.