These newly arrived canoes are for the va’a racing events of the Pacific Mini Games that Saipan will host next year.

THE Commonwealth continues to move forward with its preparations for the 2022 Pacific Mini Games as six canoes arrived on island Tuesday for the  va'a racing events.

Thirty more canoes are arriving soon, 2022 Pacific Mini Games CEO Vicente "Ben" Babauta Jr. said, adding that they received several price quotations from interested vendors among which Varua Va'a from Fiji and Tiger Canoe from Hawaii offered the best deals.

Babauta said for 18 V8 canoes, the highest price quotation was $19,000, but the CNMI paid  $12,000 only to the chosen Fiji vendor.

For 18 V1 canoes, he said the highest price quotation was $4,400, but the selected Hawaii vendor offered a price of $2,900 only, Babauta added.

All 36 canoes are competition-ready and they are more than enough to accommodate all va’a athletes plus back up, he said.

“We will also release four canoes to the [local] federation. The federation's canoe is 30 years old already so it is only fair that they  acquire the latest models,” Babauta added.

He said the new canoes are just the start of multiple procurement orders for the mini games.

For track & field, on top of resurfacing the track, Babauta said they are also investing on new equipment, including new hurdles and javelins.

For badminton, nets are on the list. For baseball, aside from repairing the field, the acquisition of pitching machines and batting cages are also in the works. For beach volleyball, new sets of beach poles and nets will be purchased. For weightlifting, weight sets and platforms; and  for tennis, resurfacing the courts, new nets among other items.

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