Tahiti Pearl Regatta: A Polynesian Sailing Event
Tahiti Pearl Regatta: Anchors Away! – Have you ever tried closing your eyes and imagining beautiful things swimming in your head? A relaxing activity such as sailing, for example, is celebrated in a wholesomely competitive way in Bora Bora through the Tahiti Pearl Regatta and its competitive yachting.
Created by Henri Dejust, the Raiatea Regatta Association was fixed to set up a yearly event wherein all sailers will meet up and set sail in the Leeward Islands. Annually, a different race in various islands takes place. Generally, this sailing event gathers around forty boats making stops in Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Huahine. Although it also reaches Bora Bora, this year it did not. Tracing its beginnings in 2004, the number of boats that would participate would slowly grow and expand. From just around 15 in 2004, it slowly emerged to around 19 boats in 2005, 25 in 2006, and 27 in 2007. This year, a big 40 both from the local and international sailing scene set their sails to participate in this event. Usually, the distance of these races would be at roughly 20 nautical miles and the winner of the event would be going home with a prize. Right before the boats sail from one island to another, a Tahitian priest says a prayer and blesses the boats and everyone in them.
The whole notion of this sailing event isn’t just about the technical aspect of sailing but remembers the idea of teamwork, traveling, and discovery. This three-day (sometimes four or five-day) event is deliciously spiced with culinary celebrations in the night such as coconuts, fish, and many more. Different forms of entertainment are there to welcome the sailers who have harmoniously teamed up for one common goal. Whether it’s the variety of Polynesian food, music, art, culture, dancing, and exhibitions, it’s the idea of celebrating and rejoicing no matter what that counts. At the end of the day, the Tahiti Pearl Regatta isn’t just about sailing and reaching the finish line first; behind the idea of competition is a truly Polynesian activity and lifestyle.
In 2012, the upcoming Tahiti Pearl Regatta will occur from the 16th to the 21st of May in the Leewards Islands.