BY Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – TUESDAY 06 SEPTEMBER 2016: It was a race unlike any other fautasi race as the 5 boats competing in the 26th Teuila festival long boat regatta seemed to be taking their own time rather that racing against each other.
When the race took off 5 miles from Faleula, all competitors had a good start, then gradually, one by one, the fautasi’s started to move out on their own beat, with Little Rina from Toamua, leading the pack.
By the time the race reached Mulinu’u peninsula, Little Rina was 7 to 8 fautasi ahead of the second place getter Tolotolo oTama Uli from Salelologa.
When Little Rina reached the finish line, Tolotolo o Tama Uli had rounded the corner behind the Government building. It was four minutes in between.
There was a longer pause between Totoloto o Tama Uli and 3rd place Telefoni o le Vainu’u who were once firec and experienced rowers from Manono Island.
Coming in fourth was Sagato Petelo rowed by the Matagaluega Katoliko Malo Tau and the only fautasi from American Samoa, God is Great came in almost ten minutes after Little Rina crossed the finish line.
Captained by veteran entertainer and personality Fa’agalu Fonoti, the win was a long time coming for the supporters who were cheering from the seawall as the Little Rina crossed the finishing line. Some supporters jumped into the sea and swam towards the fautasi as she circled around the Apia harbour.
2016 Teuila Fautasi Race results and prize money
1st place – Little Rina, Toamua – $40,000
2nd place – Tolotolo o Tama Uli, Salelologa – $30,000
3rd place – Telefoni o le Vainu’u, Manono – $20,000
4th place – Sagato Petelo, Matagaluega Katoliko, Malo Tau – $10,000
5th place – God is Great, American Samoa – $10,000
Wednesdays Teuila Programme include:
· 9.30am – 1.30pm – Teuila Food Stalls & Teuila Arts & Grafts Stalls
· 8.45am – Police Band Parade & Flag raising
· 1.30am – 1.30pm – Samoa Ne’i Galo 2016
· 1.00pm – Teuila Carving Competition judging
· 2.00pm – 4.30pm –Musika Extravaganza
· 5.00pm – 6.00pm – Wellness is Beauty
· 6.30pm – Teuila Cultural Siva Competition (Maululu/Sasa/Faataupati)