Elenoa Vateitei joined Takia in 2013 and has excelled in paddling over the years. She is currently the Juniorchampion in the V1 category and started out competing and won the U16 Girls division 2 years in a row and at the same time competing and winning the U19 Division in both the Sprint and Marathon events. Currently still a young paddler at 17 years old she is competing in the U19 and Open Women Sprint and Marathon events. Elenoa won the 2016 U19 Girls Division and Open Women’s Marathon division and finished in the top 3 for the Sprint events at the local competitions.
In 2015, while Elenoa was still 16 years old, she was chosen to represent Fiji in the Women’s Va’a team at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea. This was her first international event and the first time to step out of Fiji.
In 2016, the Takia Outrigger Canoe Club took it’s Open and Junior teams to the World Sprints Championships held on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Elenoa was a member of the U19 Girls team who reached the semi-finals in the stiff International competition. Elenoa was also entered in the V1 (single person outrigger canoe) competition in both the U19 and Open Women events. Unfortunately, she had a mishap in her U19 race and did not progress. She progressed to the semi-finals of the Open Women’s division. Elenoa came back home with the best results from the Fiji entries.
With the promise this young Lady has shown and to further develop her skills in the sport Fiji Outrigger has chosen her to represent the country at the 2017 World Distance Championships to be held in Tahiti from June 28th. Elenoa will paddle the V1 – 16km marathon event where she will represent the country in the U19 division.
Currently training under former National Coach & Club President, Duane Reiher, she has been putting in extra training time to get up to the competition standard. She currently trains 6 sessions per week on the water and another 3 sessions in the gym. Elenoa has also been training alongside the Master Women’s team. She has also been training alongside veteran – Salome Tabuatalei on the water. These women will also be taking part at the World Distance Championships. This has helped push her standards higher and the Coach expects good results.
Comments from Takia Coach.
“I know she has the potential to be a World Class Paddler. Competing at these events will give her international exposure which will definitely help improve her standards and give her confidence in competing at the elite level. Preparations has been challenging at times because I want her to have the right balance between school work and training, but I take my hat off to her for the dedication she puts into her studies and at the same time training schedules. She is like a real life Moana, she loves the ocean and always stands up to any challenge and somehow always finishes on top. I know the time and finances invested in her development will be repaid because she always brings back valuable experiences and shares with the paddling community, especially her peers who are the future of this sport”
– Duane Reiher
This article feature in the local dailies:
Fiji Sun article April 12th, 2017