Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel in Apia was a place of celebration last Saturday night.
It was where winners of the first segment of the Vailima Alo Paopao International Paddling Festival 2017 celebrated after the first day of races.
Saturday’s sprint races featured 10 international teams and 7 local teams, with a total of 130 paddlers registered to race.
Overseas clubs included two Vaka Manu junior teams (Manukau, NZ) and a range of open mens, womens and masters teams/clubs -- two teams from Pasefika (NZ), Awa (NZ), Hikoikoi (NZ), Moana Gals (NZ), Tai Tonga (NZ), Koa Kai (Sydney, Australia) and Atafa i Moana (American Samoa).
Local clubs who took part in races were Laumei, Pualele, Vaai Lau Foe and Nafanua.
The festival continued yesterday with the long distance races setting off from Apia Harbour beachfront.
The Vailima Alo Paopao Festival will wrap up with a cultural show and closing ceremony tonight, ahead of the second annual Le Aito V1 International Paddling Regatta, being held on Saturday 2 September at Taumeasina Island Resort.