Tuesday 4 December 2018 - Motu2Motu Aitutaki 

Paddle the BEST EVENT in the COOK ISLANDS!!!!!

Motu2Motu Aitutaki is now a multi award winning event having picked up two awards, Winners of the Festivals and Events Award and Outer Island Award for 2015/2016 at the Air New Zealand Cook Island National Tourism Awards


2011 saw the creation of what was only a simple idea of seeing the Aitutaki Lagoon from a different perspective and making a race of it. From that idea Motu2Motu was born.

What better way to finish your 2019 Vaka Eiva campaign and trip to the Cook Islands than visiting beautiful Aitutaki and racing in the BEST EVENT in the COOK ISLANDS, Motu2Motu. 

36kms, 7 legs, 6 changeovers, mixed crews, 1 awesome day.

In 2011,17 international paddlers participated in our first race, 2012 and 2013 saw the event grow bigger and better each time and the 2014 event was our "feel good" event with many commenting 2014, "the best Motu2Motu yet" and 2015 "the race we have to come back to finish”, 2016, "so much fun". 

2017 saw all 10 vaka in the water, a lot of returning friends and a whole heap of new paddlers from around the globe came to Aituaki to experience Motu2Motu and join our Aitutaki and Cook Islands paddling family. And you know what? So many are coming back again this year! 

2018 will see an added race to the Motu2Motu week. 12km and 18km Iron Races for Open men and women and Master (and above) men and women, sorry no mixed. The iron races will take place on Monday the 3rd of December. This will be an opportunity for paddlers travelling in teams to be able to paddle Aitutaki Lagoon with your team mates before you are split up for the Motu2Motu 36km on Tuesday the 4th. If you are not travelling in a team we will do our utmost to accommodate you into a team. 

Motu2Motu Aitutaki is the perfect changeover race for novices. Could there be a more perfect place for your first ever international changeover race?...... we think not. 

Check out our details page for more information for Motu2Motu Aitutaki 2018


Come and race on the world's most beautiful lagoon!



When:     Monday 3rd, Tuesday 4th, and Thursday 6th of December 2018
Where:    Aitutaki Lagoon 

  • M2M PADDLERS: NZD$175/person

  • M2M SPECTATORS: NZD$125/person

  • IRON PADDLERS: NZD$50/person

  • FUN SPRINT DAY: NZD$10/person payable on the day

Iron Races: Monday 3rd December

  • Registration for M2M and Iron will open at 11am on Monday the 3rd of December at the Aitutaki Game Fishing Club at the Main Wharf in Arutanga Township. 

  • Races will begin at 1300

  • 18km Open Men and Women

  • 12km Master (and above) Men and Women

  • Includes racing Vaka only

  • own transport to and from Aitutaki Game Fishing Club

Motu2Motu Race Day: Tuesday 4th December


  • Official 2018 M2M Race Shirt

  • Racing Vaka & Support Boat

  • Bottled Water

  • Dinner

  • Beverages

  • Entertainment Pre & Post Race and Evening Function

  • Transfers to and from Event

Fun Sprints: Thursday 6th December  - OOTU BEACH

  • 250 Metre Mixed Sprints

  • 1000am Registration  - 1030am Races start

  • All entry fees go towards Local Charity/Junior Sports

  • Special Burger & Beverage Offer for Purchase from Aitutaki Village


Special M2M Accommodation packages available from Poppy

Please contact Poppy Doherty at poppy@aitutaki.net.ck  for your registration forms and more details.

Participation Criteria: Motu2Motu Mixed Race

Motu2Motu Aitutaki is a fun event but it is also a tough event. For some whom have raced M2M they will tell you..."looking at the race it looks like a paddlers dream, beautiful lagoon, stop offs here and there along the way,............. but no one tells you its this hard a race!"

So in order to try to keep a good balance between the fun and enjoyment and competitive nature of Motu2Motu we need to have a few guidelines and rules to run the event by.

  • Mixed Teams will be selected on a random basis with paddlers from different clubs, countries and paddling abilities put together to create new crew combinations and new friendships

  • open to paddlers 14yrs of age and over (the hill)

  • A minimum of 12 months competitive paddling experience is required by all paddlers internationally and locally

  • Must be able to do water change overs

  • a minimum of 3 female paddlers in the canoe at all times

  • crew members must change at all designated changeover points

  • penalties will be imposed on crews (persons) who do not abide by these guidelines as the participation in the event is to be enjoyed by everyone and the day is bigger than the individual

Those not wishing to paddle but still be part of the race we have a great set up for you on the Spectators Boat. You too will receive the same inclusions as the paddlers, and please feel free to bring your own drinks and nibbles along and watch Motu2Motu Aitutaki in comfort!

Participation Criteria: Iron Races

The Iron Races are new to the M2M week and an opportunity to race as a team with your fellow club mates. The Iron Races are open to all whom have registered for Motu2Motu Mixed Race. Participants to Race in Club Colours. 

  • Course will be marked with high vis buoys as well as the half way turning points. 

  • As with International Race Guidelines if you have an Open aged paddler in your team you are racing in the Open Division. 


register now

Motu2Motu Booking Procedure for 2018

Paddlers to register and pay, email  poppy@aitutaki.net.ck  then Poppy will email your names to Air Raro.

Registered paddlers then email bookings@airraro.co.ck directly to make their booking and to apply payment.
Remember to tell Air Raro you are a M2M paddler when you make your bookings!

Event is open to all paddlers 14 years of age and over.

Cancellation fees for Motu2Motu Aitutaki 2018
Should you cancel for any reason 30-60 days out, a 50% cancellation fee will apply. Cancellation inside 30 days  a 100% cancellation fee will be imposed.


NZD$362 per person Return Rarotonga/Aitutaki/Rarotonga

Special fares will only be available up to and including the 31st of October 2018

*Discounted Fares are applicable to new bookings only, no downgraded fares will be applied to any existing bookings or previously booked fares.

Fare & Payment Rules are SAVE Fares as per Air Rarotonga's terms


A big thank you… blah blah


cook islands tourism



bsp - bank south pacific




air rarotonga



maritime cook islands




Around Aitutaki


A tale from one of the Aitutaki Clubs about paddling around Aitutaki. One day this too may become part of Motu2Motu....only time will tell...

55km, 5 hours and 20 minutes, 11 paddlers, 4 sharks, 2 whales and 1 flip.... a history making first ever, modern day Vaka, paddle around Aitutaki, our ancestors would have been proud.

At 0730 hours Toa Moana Vaka Club, with paddlers from Te Mana and Aitutaki Oe Vaka, set out to make history. The first crew consisting of Steve Schofield, Alan Maki, Steve Doherty, Tauraa Kareroa, Mike Henry and Paul Henry, together with the support paddlers Junior Maoate, Ron Henry, Ali Webb, Roxy and George, and our boat support crews, Quinton and Melo in Wet and Wild, Poppy and Rose aboard Ron Henry's Boat Miss Janice, headed out on a voyage to circumnavigate Aitutaki that most believe had not been done for over two thousand years since our ancestors first arrived.

Heading anti-clockwise around Aitutaki, a good easy paddle with a with a female hump backed whale and her calf accompanying us, in high spirits for our venture around the island, till we hit the Maina point. Turning head first into strong South Easterly winds bringing the ocean swells up to 3 metres as we headed along the southern side of the island towards the point at Motukitu. With 5 support paddlers with us we made change-overs at 20 minute intervals with all each crew member giving their all and seemingly not making any headway into never ending huge swells and strong winds.

Once we made Motukitu the lead boat advised not to make any crew changes due to sighting 3 meter pelagic sharks in the water…. Clearly good advice!!! As one local resident has commented “I stay out of their water they stay out of my bars, so far we have each lived up to our sides of the bargain!!!!” After rounding the point the seas got bigger with the swells now hitting the right side of our Canoe and at times breaking over the top of us.

Opposite Tekopua Island 'it' happened and totally without warning, we had just changed out steerer, and were powering ahead, one second we were breathing fresh air the next holding our breath as we had ‘flipped’ all in the matter of a few seconds. Once all crew were accounted for we righted the canoe, bailed water and headed off again, thank ‘somebody’ those sharks hadn’t followed us!!!!

From that point on it was all about the thrill of riding the big swells and ‘surfing’ the long waves, talk about an adrenalin rush, whoops and hollers of excitement as we continued on. Reaching familiar territory at Papau and then at Akitua we knew we were only 12 km away from making history for our little island of Aitutaki.

Around the last point at the Northern tip of the island, the feeling in the canoe changed and became more urgent and excited as we knew we were only a few kilometres away from home. With two more crew changes, Steve Schofield, Tauraa Kareroa (TK) Steve Doherty, Alan Maki, Junior Maoate and Paul Henry in our Battle Tank T12, headed home to the Arutanga Passage.

With cheers from the boat crews and supporters and the paddlers in the canoe, we arrived home after 5 hours and 20 minutes at our start point. History had been made….we did it!!!!

To have been part of an even such as this has bought our club closer together we now have crossed the final hurdle of challenging the ocean, though the respect is always there, there is no fear. To all who participated and to those who were not able to make it, but were with us out there, I personally thank you all, for one of the most incredible days in our clubs short history.