The Laumei crew conquered the 30 kilometers inaugural Sheraton-to -Sheraton regatta yesterday.
Laumei Outrigger Club overcame the challenge from Nafanua, Va’ai Lau Foe and Alo o Va’a.
They raced from Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel on Apia Harbour to Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Resort at Mulifanua at 10am.
President of the Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association, Billy Peters, paddled with the winning crew.
“To win a 30 kilometers course is a great feeling,” he said.
“Everyone did great. It was a long challenge but it feels good and it’s a great accomplishment to win a 30kilometers iron men course.”
“The competition was pretty tough with Nafanua and Vaai lou Foe but victory is always sweet.”
The regatta saw many different people turning up to watch and cheer for the paddling teams.
Organizing Committee, Alo Paopao Festival Trust Chairman, Ulugia Jay Ah-Fook also from the Nafanua team, said the regatta is very important for their long term plans.
“Samoa has always been a sprinter paddling country but we’re trying to move into more long distance so having a 30kilometers race is a pretty good step for us and a lot of teams have been preparing for it.”
Nafanua came second.
Ulugia went on to say that a lot of the paddlers are training for Tahiti and there have been a lot of preparations, not only from the National team but also from within the clubs. The event ended with a prizegiving and a buffet lunch.
Open Men’s Iron 30km
Laumei Outrigger Club
Nafanua Outrigger Club
Vaai Lau Foe OCC
Alo Va’a OCC, Pago Pago
Open Mix Relay:
1st place: Tautai OCC
2nd place: Nafanua