Queen's Baton Relay: Outrigger Canoeing

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Media captionPresenter Mark Beaumont reports on board an open canoe in Tonga.

This is an outrigger racing canoe, known as waka, vaka, wa'a, va'a or bangka throughout the Pacific. They are fast and capable speed machines.

Having ocean rowed in the Arctic and the Atlantic, I jumped at the chance to give it a go. Compared to other paddle boats, outriggers are pretty fast and take on rough ocean waters with ease, as I found out as we left the sheltered harbour.

It was unbelievably tiring as the power required from my arms was immense. The marathon distances that these mighty islanders race is impressive. Trust me, I was glad to be back on dry land at the end of my short voyage!