Growing canoeing in Samoa
Feeling the warm sun on your skin and salty sea breeze on your skin, taking in views of Apia harbour from the water, and competing your heart out with a group of your close friends or colleagues?
Sounds like a great day of outrigger paddling.
The Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association (S.O.C.A) is gearing up for its first Business House of the year on Saturday, 2nd July.
S.O.C.A, which works to promote the sport of outrigger paddling to the larger community, is comprised of local outrigger teams Laumei, Aaliyah, Nafanua, and Tautai.
Paddling has long been part of Samoa's rich and vibrant culture.
The S.O.C.A clubs, which practice passionately out on the water nearly every day, are excited to spread the love of paddling and hope that encouraging people to participate in the upcoming business regatta will grow the sport in the country.
The regatta is for anyone interested in trying out the sport, participating in some healthy outdoors exercise, or engaging in a little friendly competition (or team bonding!) with their friends and colleagues on the water.
Teams such as Bluesky, Digicel, Mahealanis & Statik Graphics, UN, Maxxfit, M&J and Peace Corps have already begun training at Mulinu'u and Matautu in preparation for what is planned to be an exciting set of races.
United Nations captain, Carla Fonseca, said, “I love this sport because it is a true one team that paddles together, no one stands out on a boat, we are all one when it comes to racing. If we push all together as one then we all win.”
If you've never paddled before, there's no worries!
Experienced S.O.C.A club members are helping teams practice every day up until the regatta, and lending out paddles, canoes, and lifejackets for training teams.
The proceeds raised from this regatta will help S.O.C.A continue to grow, including supporting the development of association members through overseas competition.
The overall goal is to take teams representing Samoa to the 2017 Long Distance World Championship V1 and V6 races in Tonga.
Encouraging international exposure not only puts Samoa on the map as a premiere paddling destination, but also challenges paddlers to aspire to higher levels of competition.
Registration is open until 29th June. Registration fees are 300 tala per team. A team is comprised of up to 7 people, while each race includes 5 paddlers and 1 steer.
If your team doesn't have a steer, an experienced S.O.C.A club member will steer for you and minimum of 2 girls on the boat. To register, please contact any of the following S.O.C.A club members: Mamea Samuel Ieremia (7853117), Ulugia Jay ah Fook (7774434), Moana Schreckenberg (7731177), or Billy Peters (7747810).