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‘Tahiti Rendezvous’ Staged for Puddle Jumpers

Taking a turn paddling alongside native Polynesians is always a memorable thrill for visiting cruisers.

latitude/Andy
©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It would be tough to find another prime sailing destination that welcomes cruisers the way Tahiti does these days. And Latitude 38 is proud to be playing a role in that process.

We’ve been working closely with associates at Tahiti Tourisme to put on a special welcome event for this year’s cruising fleet, called the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendezvous, to be held June 27 and 28. The idea is to celebrate the fleet’s 3,000-mile crossing to French Polynesia and introduce sailors to the territory’s time-honored cultural traditions. Following a welcome party Saturday at Papeete’s yacht quay, Puddle Jumpers will skirt the annual Heiva canoe races as they sail ‘in company’ across the channel to Moorea for an afternoon of fun and games.

In addition to traditional music and dance, and a bountiful Polynesian lunch, islanders will demonstrate centuries-old sports and handicrafts. If last year’s event is any indicator, the highlight will be six-person canoe races, where cruisers team up with local paddlers — big fun!

‘Our gal in Tahiti’ – French sailor Stephanie Betz is our liason with Tahiti Tourisme. She and her associates have worked hard to make cruisers feel welcome in their islands.

latitude/Andy
©2008 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

The Tourisme folks have gone to a great deal of trouble to organize this free event, so we’re hoping for a large turnout — even if some boats have to beat 100 miles to windward from the Leeward Islands to attend. With any luck, the Rendezvous will be hosted annually for the benefit of future cruisers. Look for our full report in the August Latitude.

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Local PBS station KQED (Channel 9) will be airing Deep Water tonight at 10:30 p.m.