Alfred's last minute sub delights in fautasi victory

Businessman and the Chairman of Digicel Samoa, Pepe Fiaailetoa Fruean, will always remember St. Joseph's College's 70th anniversary fautasi challenge.

Moments before the crew boarded their fautasi, one of the crew members pulled out which meant they needed a replacement. 

Pepe did not hesitate to jump when he was offered the chance. 

“I was very privileged to be a part of the team and of course I had to thank our team Alfred for that,” he told the Samoa Observer during an interview after Alfred had won, narrowly beating the all-women Fautasi o Toa crew.

“I acknowledge Vaiasenu'u as well for their great team of rowers. It was very close, anyone could’ve won but in the end, I think fellowship won today and everyone’s happy."

For Pepe, the last time he was part of a fautasi crew was ten years ago. Although he was not preparing to row until he was asked to do so, regular exercise and some sessions at the gym had kept him in shape and so when the opportunity presented itself, he did not hesitate. 

"It was amazing and a very wonderful opportunity," he said.

"At the beginning, we had a lot of people who were training and I wasn’t actually in the original squad and then just this morning just before they were entering the boat, one of the people pulled out and I was the last minute replacement.

“I was training but we tried to pick the people that committed and because of work, I was not able to make all the training so it was only fair that the kids that were diligent and trained hard, they should be given the opportunity so I didn’t make the original fourty-four.”

"It was a fantastic victory to be a part of it."

Pepe acknowledged the brotherhood of St. Joseph’s College and the Marist spirit. He said a lot of bad things are happening across the world and even in Samoa but it was good to see people come together to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and fellowship. 

“We had a very nice day and hopefully, in all these things, we give honour to God,” Pepe said.

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