Nu'uuli's Fautasi leaving Matasaua II from Manu'a behind during their practice race yesterday. Both boats will be racing in this years Flag Day Fautasi Race that will be held next week Wednesday. Fautasi Fiva is on! [photo: TG]

The village of Nu’uuli will be out on the coast again next week Wednesday to embrace and cheer on their Fautasi team, as they set out to try and claim another Flag Day Championship title. This coverage of “Fautasi Fever 2013” is proudly brought to you by Coors Light, distributed exclusively by GHC Reid Co. Ltd. “Family of fine Beverages” — “Oloa o Leala”.
We have seen it many times in many years when Nu’uuli’s “Sa” was the one to fear on the water. The team has had a steady reign of championship titles. In 2011, Nu’uuli took first place, dedicating their win to Nu’uuli’s late Captain, Ben Sola’ita. Last year, Nu’uuli clearly made a statement in the first race of three, and won by a distance of almost a mile. But when the finals came, Nu’uuli suffered at the hands of Pago Pago’s high tech “Aeto” losing by almost a fautasi length.
Samoa News spoke to this year’s Nu’uuli skipper, Captain Manutafea Sale’au’au Tanielu Taufete’e, about how Nu’uuli has been preparing for this year’s race, and he explained, “I first want to say “tulou, tulouna lava i le matou afio’aga nei, i le afifio o Maoupu ma Usoali’i ma Taumafaalofi, ia ae pola puipui a’au mafuamalu fetalaiga ia Tuimalele i le latou tofa, le atimagea taigane le Itu’aumalosi.”
(Samoa News understands that Fanene Vitale So'oto was the official captain of the Nu'uuli fautasi, however, due to health issues the captaincy was given to Manutafea.)
He added, “as to our fautasi team preparations, Nu’uuli is preparing at a level that pushes these rowers beyond the limits of our expectations. I am watching these guys as we train during our evening sessions, and they are not willing to back down, these boys are training to go as far as they can, to reach our goal this year, and that it to bring the Championship title back to Nu’uuli.”
According to Manutafea, Nu’uuli hasn’t been preparing that long in terms of rowing time out at sea, “If I really look at it, I think we have been really working out and training for three to four weeks now, but we are training at a fast pace, so that our rowers can quickly adjust to our winning pace when the race comes around.”
 Manutafea told Samoa News, “As of now we have 44 rowers running in our fautasi crew, and all 44 have been dedicated and determined to achieve the one goal we all have in mind, and that’s 1st place.”
He added, “The original seated crew members are 45, but with one of our seats being removed, we have only 44 rowers plus me — that’s 45 all on the boat when the race comes around. We also have two spare rowers on the side just in case something happens to one of our crew or if something comes up last minute.”
Manutafea told Samoa News about the changes made to this year’s Nu’uuli fautasi crew.
“There are still some veteran rowers competing in this year’s race — not too many, but they are there — but a majority of our crew this year are all young members.
“As you all know, all the teams are going for number one this year, there is not one crew out there training to come in second, everyone is preparing to place at the top. Nu’uuli is not new at being champions, we’re used to it, but we are fighting this year to bring back the championship title to where it belongs.”
Manutafea thanks those who have supported them throughout their daily preparations “We want to thank Impex Pacific for being one of our major supporters. Not only that we want to thank the village of Nu’uuli for their nonstop support and their never ending prayers for our fautasi crew that we may embrace this year’s win when it comes, fa’afetai.”


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