SI Men’s open Va’a Team Makes Strong Debut at 17th Pacific Games
By Lynton A. Filia
In a display of outstanding flexibility and talent, the Solomon Islands Men’s Open Va’a Team marked their debut in the 17th Pacific Games, showcasing their ability in the V6 and V12 categories at DC Park, east Honiara.
Under the leadership of team captain Rodney Vaka, the Men’s team left a permanent mark, after storming straight their heats V12 on third place, despite encountering significant hurdles along the way.
The team’s journey was not without its challenges. After securing third place in their initial heat, they faced major setbacks, allowing Fiji and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to advance directly to the finals.
This set the stage for an intense competition.
Despite being relatively new to the Va’a sport on the international stage, the Solomon Islands’ presence in this prestigious event was a testament to their determination and passion for the sport’s growth in homeland, Solomon Islands.
Having previously participated only in the V1 sprint in previous Pacific mini-games, this year marked a pivotal moment as the Solomon Islands proudly expanded their representation to the V6 and V12 categories.
Despite being relatively new paddlers on the international stage, they showcased their growing talents, suggesting at the potential to become future champions.
Captain Vaka expressed his pride in the team’s performance, acknowledging the immense challenge posed by seasoned Pacific competitors. Despite the time constraints in preparing for the games, the team’s solid strength and confidence shone through in every race, earning praise from their captain for their firmness and grit.
The team’s performance in the races unveiled a tale of two halves. Exceptional timing and leading from the start until the 250-meter mark underscored their exceptional skill and coordination. However, a slight shortfall in power and endurance in the last part of the races highlighted an area for focused improvement.
Looking ahead to future competitions, Captain Vaka expressed, Team Solomon in Va’a aims to fine-tune their endurance and power from the 250-meter mark to the finish line, recognizing this as a critical area for development.
Acknowledging the need for support and improved facilities, Captain Vaka emphasized the importance of resources to enhance their training regimen.
“Access to better facilities, refining basic techniques, pre-water fitness routines, and building strength in gym facilities were identified as pivotal factors to elevate our performance in upcoming competitions.” –ENDS//