The individual Va’a race named “Te Aito” was created in 1988 by Charley Maitere and Mara Aitamai, with the collaboration of the sports association “Tamarii CPS” .
For the first edition, 88 athletes took the start in Lafayette Bay (Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort Hotel).
Since the creation in 1990 of the “AS Ruahatu”, the event is co-organized with the club.
In 2009, the Te Aito recorded the first foreign participation: 5 New Zealand athletes. In 2016, athletes’ participation exceeds 1000 participants.
The TE AITO 2017 reaches 28 participating countries represented by 190 foreign athletes V1. It thus becomes the biggest international event of Va’a organized in French Polynesia.
By way of comparison, the 1st World Kayak Ocean Racing Championships held in Tahiti in October 2015 mobilized 22 countries and 139 foreign athletes.
The evolution of athlete participation has evolved as follows:
- 1988: 88 athletes (1st edition)
- 2016: 1001 athletes (29th edition)
The participation of foreign athletes has evolved as follows:
- 2009: first 5 entries
- 1 country represented – NZ
- 2016: 85 foreign athletes
- 13 countries represented
These key figures dedicate TE AITO as:
- The world’s largest V1 race
- The 2nd most important event of French Polynesia with Hawaiiki Nui Va’a
It is to Lara Collins, current President of the IVF, that we owe the launch in 2009 of the little sister “Aotearoa AITO”. In 2017, there were 185 athletes.
- 2009: Aotearoa AITO / New Zealand
- 2010: Raro AITO / Cook Islands
- 2011: Taratoni AITO / New Caledonia
- 2013: Italia AITO / Italy
- 2014: Aussie AITO / Australia
- 2015: Brasilia AITO / Brazil