The national team made up of paddlers from NTV and Te Tupu is one of the 30 countries that will be attending the first edition of the championships.
Races will run over four days and both teams will compete in a 27 kilometre V6 (six man canoe) race. The single V1 paddler for each category will be an 18km race.
Still glowing from the success and podium glory of the 2015 Pacific Games, the paddlers are more determined than ever to improve on the silver and bronze medal placings at the games in Papua New Guinea.
This has been boosted by their consistent support and podium finishes at the annual Vaka Eiva events, the Cook Islands annual outrigger festival.
Currently ranked third in the Pacific in the outrigger canoeing distance racing, the Cook Islands look forward to challenging this position against not only the Pacific but the world.
With this in the mind, the upmost priority has been placed on training and preparation with both the master men and junior men teams training twice daily, averaging 85-100km a week of on-water training.
Fitness, strength and paddling trials are regularly held to ensure improvement and both teams continue to support the Cook Islands Canoeing Association’s domestic race calendar amid training commitments.
The hardworking men’s squad consists of nine master men, with years of competition and paddling success to their credit, as well as eight junior men who have excelled in the sport of outrigger canoeing in just a short space of time.
Fletcher Melvin, who has years of experience, is the team’s coach and pushes both teams to train hard, with high expectations.
The men’s squad have exceptional athletes and they are at the top of their sport with respect to local competition and participation in international paddling events.
Meanwhile fundraising efforts to send these teams to Tahiti have been high on the agenda.
This Saturday, the squad will be holding a Mega Garage Sale at the Vaka Shed, located next to Trader Jacks, from 8.30am.
While there will be plenty of pre-loved items for sale, there will also be pre-sold food available and a car wash.
Those of who wanting to try out paddling, there will be a $5 paddling trips departing Jacks wharf throughout the morning.
Squad members and management look forward to seeing everyone down at the Mega Garage Sale.