Excerpt from voanews.com
The causes are worthy, the course is daunting – almost 500 kilometers across a stretch of the Pacific Ocean in a large canoe.
It’s the Hoki Mai Challenge, which started Saturday in Rapa Nui, a territory in the Pacific that is part of Chile and is better known as Easter Island.
The event consists of a canoe voyage in which nine Rapanuis, two Chileans and one Hawaiian seek to raise awareness about the importance of women in the world, urge protection of the environment, and celebrate the union of the islands of Polynesia.
The 12 athletes have been training six days a week since mid-September, preparing for a voyage that will take them from Rapa Nui to Motu Motiro Hiva, another island in the mid-Pacific that belongs to Chile.
“It won’t be easy,” said Gilles Bordes, coordinator of Hoki Mai. “Three days and three nights.”
Bordes moved to Rapa Nui earlier this year, but he has lived in Polynesia for three decades, devoting much of his time to rowing.