"Ole mua lava", says Nuuuli's Manulele Tausala
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The oldest fautasi still gliding through competition today is the Manulele Tausala or the Low Rider a.k.a. Le Toea’ina — the only fautasi from the 90s.
But age doesn't matter, as the Low Rider has been the biggest threat to other competitors in recent Flag Day fautasi races. Fautasi Five 2019 is proudly presented by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
The Manulele Tausala didn’t compete in last year's ‘Faigamea i le Tai’ after the Nuuuli village council decided to steer the youth and aumaga towards recovery efforts following Tropical Cyclone Gita.
This year, they are back, with hefty support from all of Nuuuli.
Captaining the Manulele Tausala tomorrow morning will be Manutafea Tanielu Taufete’e who told Samoa News that they are coming for one thing and one thing only. “There’s no other focus for Manulele Tausala this year but first place. I believe this is what our village wants as well. I know all the other villages are also coming for the same thing, but it all comes down to who wants it more.”
The ‘Low Rider’ will be powered by 45 rowers, who have been training since the beginning of the year.
“We started training at the end of January, but it wasn’t until after church events that we started to get things together — That’s one thing with our village, we first tend to give our time to church and family functions to give glory to the Almighty God before we gather ourselves for an event such as this”.
Manutafea said his crew has changed drastically this year, compared to two years ago, when they last competed. “This year, we have seen a lot of new faces coming in to train, to fight for a spot on the boat. The majority of our old crew have gone off-island to further their education. This year, not only do we have some new rowers from other villages, we also have a lot of youngsters from Nuuuli who have just graduated high school and have grown up wanting to represent our village on the Manulele Tausala.”
Manutafea said Nuuuli is only racing one fautasi tomorrow, and that's the Low Rider.
He said the village wanted to enter both fautasi but due to some needed maintenance on the 'high tech' Manulele Tausala II, only one boat will be competing.
“We want to send our biggest thank you and acknowledgements to Nu’uuli, from the eldest to the youngest in the village. Thank you so much. The support from our village every evening has been overwhelming. We would also like to thank our village council, our representatives and committee members for their strong and never-ending support of their ’Tama Fanau’."