Rough seas delay sail of voyaging canoes to Wellington

Four of the five voyaging canoes heading to Wellington for the spectacular Waka Odyssey this week, have returned to Napier due to rough weather.

Fealofani Brunn who has captained the Samoan va'atele Gaualofa through her journeys around the world is confident they will get to Wellington in time but she says for now, it's safety first for crew on all the vaka.

"We're constantly on the weather channels like religious, just to make sure everything is safe. Gaualofa is the only Samoan Va'atele so it's a big thing for us to make sure the crew are intact."

The Waka Odyssey which launches the NZ International Arts Festival in Wellington on Friday night is a celebration of Pacific traditional voyaging and acknowledges the great navigator and explorer Kupe.