ISLANDS writers and photographers have been traveling to the Islands of Tahiti for years to review the best island trips on this iconic destination. But our experts have never seen Tahiti quite like this. Photographer Shelly Strazis, who has covered the world for ISLANDS, wanted to do a photo gallery on the Hawaiki Nui Va’a. More than 100 teams from around the world gather in for an intense three-day race by outrigger. It’s an amazing spectacle — Tahiti’s Super Bowl. Shelly wanted to cover the Hawaiki Nui Va’a through the perspective of one team, so she connected with a crew from the small Tahitian island of Maupiti. The men on the team welcomed her and gave her a special look at what it takes to train and compete in Tahiti’s biggest race. And when it was all done, Shelly saw the biggest party in Tahiti. This trip made the ISLANDS Wish List because, well, you can travel to Tahiti to see the race and enjoy the party — even if you never touch a paddle.
Shelly recently visited ISLANDS Headquarters to talk with us about her photo gallery for this exclusive Tahiti video.