Expanded Alo Paopao regatta to fill Taufasi void in Samoa
Outrigger canoe clubs in Samoa are joining together to host an international regatta in the Teuila festival to be held in two weeks time.
The Alo Paopao race debuted at the festival last year and the expanded version will feature teams from New Zealand and other countries.
It comes amid confirmation that the popular long boat or fautasi race, which has been a part of the festival for more than a decade, has been cancelled.
The director for the Alo Paopao regatta, Jay Ah Fook Schuster, says the cancellation of the fautasi race has nothing to do with their international competition.
The head of the Tourism Authority says the fautasi race was intended for the independence celebrations in June and there is no need for another race so soon after that.
Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says matters haven’t been helped by a silent Teuila organizing committee.
“The opposition is saying well maybe the government does not have the money to offer the prizes for the longboat race but even [with] that accusation the committee does not say whether there is money or there is no money for the long boat race.”
Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia.