Get your paddles up folks and get ready.
One of the newest and promising to be one of the biggest regattas on island has been launched and you are asked to mark 18 March 2017 on your calendar.
That’s when paddling crews will tackle the inaugural Sheraton to Sheraton 30km Va’a Regatta.
Organised by the Alo Paopao Festival Trust, the Sheraton to Sheraton Challenge will see one-man and six-person canoes race from Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel on Apia Harbour to Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Resort at Mulifanua.
The event was launched last night at Sheraton Samoa on Beach Road by the President of the Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association (S.O.C.A), Billy Peters. Also present was the General Manager of Sheraton Samoa, Mark Francis.
In a statement issued by the Organising Committee, Alo Paopao Festival Trust Chairman, Ulugia Jay Ah Fook-Schuster, said these events have the potential to raise Samoa’s profile as a sports tourism destination.
“There are more than 100 outrigger canoeing clubs in the Pacific and beyond,” he said, “paddling is a sport that celebrates our Pacific Island cultures but also has a really wide appeal to anyone who just likes being active and outdoors.”
“The 30km open-ocean course will be a great challenge – especially for our local teams who are training for the Va’a World Championships.”
Major sponsor for the inaugural Sheraton to Sheraton Regatta in March are of course, Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows and Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Resort, as well as Vailima.
“The Sheraton to Sheraton Regatta on 18 March has some great support and some excellent accommodation deals from our high-profile sponsor, and we’re hoping some international paddlers will make the trip and join in on the fun,” Ulugia said.
The event is open to the public from 10am in front of Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel in Apia and will end at Sheraton Aggie Grey’s resort with a Buffet lunch and prizegiving.
The Sheraton race will be followed by a Beach party, BBQ and social races at Sheraton Mulifanua on Sunday 19 March.
Tickets are for sale for only $99.00 for Saturday and Sunday events – including buffet lunch, keg Vailima beer and drink specials.
Registration fees for paddlers are $145.00 per person, including participating in V1 or V6 30km Marathon, social races on Sunday, buffet lunch on both days, keg Vailima beer and drink specials.
Sheraton Aggie Grey’s is offering special local accommodation package for paddlers, families and supporters participating in this event - $299 per night for Hotel in Vasigano and $335 per night for Resort including tax, breakfast and WIFI during this event and up to 31st March. For bookings please call them on 22880 and quote LOCAL.
“Alo Paopao paddling events are made possible by generous support from the local business community. Sponsors for the Vailima Alo Paopao 2016/2017 season are Vailima, Sheraton, SIFA, Pacific Forum Line, Siva Afi, Fausaga Va'a, M & J Ah Fook & Bluesky.”