Boaters' excitement builds over Fautasi Regatta

Thousands of boating enthusiasts are full of anticipation that this week the September Teuila Festival will be held and the previously postponed Fautasi Regatta will take to the water.

The Samoa Observer understands that the Samoa Tourism Authority has lent its support to return of the festival - and the Regatta - but Cabinet will have the final say over whether the events go ahead. 

The Fautasi race is one of Samoa's most iconic races and it has been postponed for several years, which would make its return extra sweet for boating enthusiasts. 

Legendary woman skipper, Vaimasenuu Zita Martel, is fully anticipating the return of the boat race and the Festival. She shared not only her excitement on Facebook and said that a crew from Don Bosco was expected to take to the water to compete. 

“Last week we were told by the Teuila Festival Committee that they're going ahead with the Teuila Festival in September and that the longboat Fautasi race will be the finale event,” she wrote on Facebook.

“Today was the first time our new crew of 86 rowers touched this gentle bird and longboat, Segavao Don Bosco IV.”

The Teuila Festival, usually marked in September, showcases Samoa's cultural activities including choral exhibitions, siva and fire knife dancing, variety shows, concerts and tattooing.

Doubts had been expressed over whether the Teuila Festival would be held due to state of emergency restrictions on large gatherings. 

Earlier this month, the Chief Executive Officer of Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A), Fa’amatuainu Lenata’i Suifua, told the Samoa Observer, that a meeting had been scheduled to finalise the decision.

It was not possible to get a comment from him on what had happened during the meeting.

As for skippers,  Vaimasenu’u and Segavao, they have their work cut out, with less time to prepare.

“The usual time to train our longboat crew is four months,” she said.

“The challenge for me now is to condense my Fautasi Training framework of four months into five weeks, and get a placing in the top three with all new rowers.”

A final decision on the boat race is expected to be made this week.


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