Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shell Va'a | Hana Hou! Magazine

Last summer I had an amazing time in Tahiti with world champion outrigger paddling team Shell Va'a, documenting their training for the upcoming long distance season for Hana Hou! The Hawaiian Airlines Magazine.  The guys train rigorously like professional athletes and work all day at the Shell Petroleum Fuel Depot in Papeete. They're employed with good blue collar jobs with Pacific Petroleum working at the depot as pump operators and truck drivers, and in turn are on the company paddling team. Training tirelessly every morning and afternoon, they are on the ocean paddling relentlessly when they aren't working out at the gym or running up a mountain.  I had such an awesome time getting to know the team, spending afternoons on the sea in the escort boat watching them cut through the sea with unparalleled intensity. I was so inspired by their strength, endurance, and paddling instincts. Many thanks to all of Shell Va'a and to Richel Moux for your hospitality.

practice at sunset in papeete harbor

warming up for the V6 Heiva race

Yoann Cronsteadt, one of the best paddlers on Shell Va'a and in the world, leads the pack during the V1 Heiva race

resting on the sea

president Richel Moux watches from the escort boat

team meeting at the fare va'a

David Tepava and fellow senior Shell Va'a paddlers run up Mount Belvedere at dawn

senior paddlers hang out at the fare va'a before practice

paddling in the V16 canoe

Shell Va'a senior paddlers hold hands and say a prayer before Tahiti's traditional Heiva race

paddling in V3 canoes at sea off Papeete


team meeting after the Heiva races

Yoann Cronsteadt hauls heavy diesel barrels around the island every day for Pacific Petroleum

Moana Maeru and Roland Tere at work at Pacific Petroleum

Roland Tere working at the Pacific Petroleum depot

Roland with his girlfriend and son Arearii at the clinic on his day off

Roland holds his son Arearii during a prayer with the team
sitting around before the Heiva races

Yoann at the fare va'a

senior paddlers Moana and Roland talk during practice

Hiromana Flores and senior paddlers training in the V16 canoe

David, Kevin, and Tuarongo relax in the back of the pickup truck after a run

Shell Va'a senior paddlers running up Mount Belvedere in the morning before work

Gary working out in the gym

Shell Va'a boys hanging out before practice

team meeting after the Heiva races

Kevin Ceran Jeusalemy getting hydrated

V16 paddling

senior team captain Roland Tere during a break at practice

Coach Mario Cowan and escort boat driver Jimmy Pirato, a former Shell Va'a star paddler

V16 training in Papeete

Bruno Tauhiro carries a canoe into the water at the fare va'a

Hiromana and teammates talk story on the escort boat after the Heiva races

golden hour on the water

precise timing

practice at sea, Moorea off in the distance

praying together after the Heiva races

relaxing after running up Mount Belvedere

Yoann resting in the fuel truck after dropping off diesel barrels all day

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Shell Va'a | Hana Hou! tearsheet

Last summer I spent a week documenting Tahiti's world champion paddling team, Shell Va'a, as they prepared for their upcoming long-distance season. Here's the full spread that ran in Hana Hou! the Hawaiian Airlines Magazine.