A Glorious Welcome to Polynesia

Friday’s opening ceremonies included traditional dancing at the water’s edge.

latitude/Andy
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

By all accounts, the fourth annual Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, which concluded yesterday, was a huge success. In fact, the 60-boat fleet of international cruisers comprised the largest yachting event in the history of French Polynesia.

Rina Alexopolous of the Newport Beach-based Hunter 447 Follow You Follow Me gets an old-style welcome to Opunohu Bay.

latitude/Andy
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Organized by Tahiti Tourisme and several partners — including Latitude 38 — the three-day event drew a wide variety of boats which had set sail for the islands from California, Hawaii, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Chile and Australia. By the time the event was over, many new friendships had been forged through a half-dozen shoreside and on-the-water activities, including a yacht rally from Papeete to Moorea’s spectacular Opunohu Bay and a series of outrigger canoe races.

It would be hard to imagine a more picturesque site for the Rendezvous than Moorea’s Opunohu Bay.

latitude/Julie Turpin
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC
With a fit Tahitian woman setting the pace in the bow, Team ‘Aussie Blokes’ sprints to the finish.

latitude/Andy
© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Tahitian government’s goal in hosting the annual migration of cruisers in such an elaborate fashion is to instill in them an appreciation of traditional Polynesian sports, cuisine, music and dance — all of which were readily enjoyed by this year’s fleet. One of Latitude 38‘s primary goals in actively promoting the Rendezvous each year is to reinforce the notion that visiting cruisers are an important niche within the overall tourism market of Tahiti and other South Pacific nations. Look for our complete report on the Rendezvous next week in the July edition of Latitude 38 magazine (available also online as a free PDF download).

Larissa Lane of the Mississippi-based custom 44 footer Australis shows her strength and speed in the Fruit Carrier’s Race.

latitude/Andy
©2009 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

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