A scene from a previous fautasi race
BY Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 01 SEPTEMBER 2015: Only one fautasi from American Samoa has been confirmed for the 2016 Teuila Festival regatta. The rest of the field are five from Samoa.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Tourism Authority Papalii Sonja Hunter, said it was not easy trying to get the villages and organizations to register for the annual competition.
Papali’i said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi who issued a challenge to villages and organizations boost the number of competitors to six.
She did not elaborate on what the challenges were.
As of last week, only 3 boats were confirmed including 1 from American Samoa. The Festival Board had opened invitations for longboats from American Samoa to compete with longboats from Samoa using traditional oars.
“I expected 6 from American Samoa, but only one stood up to the challenge,” said Tuilaepa.
In the past 2 years, the fautasi race had been dropped from the Teuila festival due to the low interest number of entries.
There was no fautasi race for the Independence celebrations last June this year hence Cabinet’s decision to have a race during the Teuila festival.
The registered fautasis so far are:
· Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association
· Little Rina
· Malotau Youth Group from Manono
· Telefoni o le Vainuu Manono
· Tolotolo o le Tamauli from Salelologa
· God is Great from American Samoa
Tuilaepa said the final meeting for The Teuila Organising Committee is finalising the preparations today before the festival kicks off with the Hymns festival on Sunday.