The Shell Va’a outrigger canoe team entered the history books by winning the three-day Leeward Islands Hawaiki Nui Race for the fourth straight time and fifth time overall.
Nearly three weeks after winning the famous Molokai Hoe race in Hawaii for the third straight year the Shell team won the 17th Hawaiki Nui Race at home before an enthusiastic local crowd.
Crossing the finish line after 4 hours 12 minutes and 45 seconds of paddling the 58 kilometers (36 miles) separating the islands of Taha’a and Bora Bora, the Shell Va’a team became only the second outrigger canoe team to win the Hawaiki Nui five times.
The Shell team’s biggest rival this year, the EDT (Electricité de Tahiti) team, finished a disappointing third Friday in the third leg after having finished second in the first leg and first in the second leg. The EDT team had to content itself with an overall second place this year.