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Weekend kicks off with Fautasi Coastal Challenge race

2014 Samoa News file photo of Fagasa rowers break away from the Fetu o le Afiafi and the Manulele Tausala

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — This Friday morning, local fautasi crews will be up bright and early, with oars in hand, to participate in a competition that is part of the Fautasi Coastal Challenge.

 The project, under the Department of Commerce, aims to utilize villages with long boats to carry out activities that encourage the upkeep of coastal areas and the importance of keeping the coastline clean and litter free.

Similar to what other countries are doing, several villages have installed large nets at the mouth of streams to prohibit trash from flowing into the ocean, causing damage to marine life.

A total of eleven fautasi will be racing in two heats on Friday. The first race is set for 7a.m. and will feature: Fuao (Vatia), Manu’a (Matasaua), Nu’uuli (Manulele Tausala), Fagasa (Fealofani Samoa), and the Fono staff who will be rowing the God is Great fautasi.

The second race - set for 9 a.m. - will include: Aua (Paepaeulupoo), Fagatogo (Iseula ole Moana), Leone (Taema), Fagaalu (Fetu ole Afiafi), Pago Pago (Aeto), and the Samoana HS Class of 2020 rowing the Sinapioa.

The boats will line up at the starting point in front of ASCO Motors in Pago Pago and head out to the bay where they will turn around and row back to the starting line.

Samoa News and members of the public have witnessed practice runs every evening for the past two weeks, in the bay area.