The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011
By DENNIS ORERE
GAVUONE village’s white Urapo beach in Abau, Central, is expected to be filled with excitement again with the annual Engineering & Construction Solutions Ltd (ECS) sponsored major canoe race to be held on Queen’s Birthday, next Monday.
The village has hosted numerous canoe racing events over the years during festive seasons and public holidays, attracting support from government MPs and business personalities.
The annual ECS sponsored event is known as the “Urapo to Walaivele Island Classic”.
Walaivele is an island located off the Aroma coast and the Marshall lagoon in Abau, thus, it is usually a turning point in canoe racing courses for races held at Gavuone and surrounding villages.
This year, the event, to be held next Monday, is expected to attract up to 70 canoes.
ECS managing director Kelly Onne, who is from Gavuone, said the reason behind supporting the race was to recognise and promote the art of canoe-making in Gavuone, as well as in other villages in Abau.
“It should be an exciting event for all involved, with the major prize being a 23-foot dinghy with a 40-horse power outboard motor,” Onne said.
Gavuone is one of the biggest villages in the district and the event is expected to attract more than 5,000 people from Gavuone, surrounding villages and Port Moresby.
Racing crews are doing final preparations as they await the big day, keeping a close watch on the weather conditions.
The crews will represent various clans in Gavuone, with invited canoes from other villages also expected to compete.