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The “Manu Fe’ai” from Vatia, le “Fuao” is ready to come back this year for a good fight to correct their mistakes from last year, and fight to claim this year’s 2013 Flag Day Fautasi Championship title, for Vatia, which would be for the first time.


Coverage of this year’s “Flag Day Fautasi Fiva 2013” is brought to you by Coors Light, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid Co. Ltd. “Family of Fine Beverage” – “Oloa o Leala”.


This is the third year that Vatia is rowing their Fuao in the American Samoa Flag Day Fautasi Race festivities, and for a newcomer, they have made a name for themselves each time they have raced.


The first year Vatia raced, they placed third just behind Samoana and Pago Pago. For their second year, the Fuao managed to break through the first heat, to comfortably set up its lane for the championship heat, which included three races. The Fuao made it to the final race, and powered it’s way to fourth place, just behind the Matasaua II, which was led by Captain Vaiolo Taliga Vaiolo.


This year, the former Matasaua II captain is no longer with the Matasaua II, but has instead taken up the role of “Foe Mua” as part of the crew — the Manu Fe’ai — of the Fuao.


Samoa News spoke to him about how Vatia has been preparing for the upcoming fautasi race.


“Our preparations have been hard and tough, I know that we have put a lot of time and effort into training this year, and I know that our fautasi crew is more than ready this year to tackle whatever stands in front of our way.”


According to Vaiolo, “we have the actual 50 rowers that we need to power this boat to the finish line, and with the captain added, we have a total number of 51 crew members on the fautasi.”


He added, “our captain is trying his best to suit the youth of Vatia on board the Fuao, so that we don’t have any extra seats left out, because every single seat and every single oar is an important part of winning this year’s fautasi race.”


As to the changes to the Fuao and its crew, Vaiolo explained, “I am new to the Fuao fautasi crew, but out of experience from last year, I believe that the Fuao’s training is way more advanced this year compared to last year, and I know for a fact that ever since we’ve reconstructed the Fuao’s oar pins, we have managed to come out with a far more better result as of speed and rowing, as well as the extending of our oars, which made our job far more convenient and easy, so I have a very positive feeling about our chances going into this year’s fautasi race.”


According to Vaiolo, the Fuao is “in our third month of training right now. We started off with running on flat land, then we advanced onto running up the mountain to Vatia, leading up to now with our rowing process, so everything is falling into place where it should, the only thing we are waiting for now is to race, and see if the last piece of the puzzle can finally fall into place too.”


He told Samoa News of Vatia’s goal this year.


“I know there is not one fautasi crew out there practicing to lose, everyone wants to win and everyone wants that first place. So for us, we know that we have worked hard to enter this race, and we will think about that on the day of the race. How far we’ve come, how hard we worked, and how much time we put into this effort, this will pay off when it is time for us to reap the fruits of our labor.”


He concluded, “we want to thank our families from Vatia for their never ending support for us. They are always here bringing us water and drinks… so they have played a huge part in supporting us. We also want to thank all of those who cared for us not only from the village of Vatia, but from all over the island, thank you and fa’afetai tele lava.”