Fautasi Fiva 2019: Aeto will soar to #1 says Chief Pulu
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — “I had a dream...” said Pago Pago Chief Pulu Ae Ae Jr. yesterday when contacted for comments about the Aeto’s preparations for the 2019 Flag Day fautasi race set for this Saturday, April 13th.
“I dreamt that the Aeto soared to the finish line and claimed the championship title.” Fautasi Fiva 2019 is proudly presented by Congresswoman Aumua Amata.
Pulu, who was in Las Vegas, NV for two weeks, said it was his dream that prompted him to rush back to American Samoa. But when he arrived, he was told that the Pago Pago village council had already agreed that Mageo Patolo Mageo would be leading the Aeto crew in this year’s race.
“I wish Mageo and the rest of the Aeto rowers the best of luck in the upcoming race,” said Pulu, adding that if Mageo doesn’t make it happen, he will do it himself next year.
Pulu said he would put in a request to captain the Aeto in 2020, and make his dream come true.
“In my dream, I was at the helm, commanding the Aeto crew,” he said. “The gun went off and all the fautasi started rowing. Not long afterwards, the Aeto soared above water. I became scared and dove into the ocean; I swam back to shore. The Aeto went on to capture the title.”
All jokes aside, Pulu said from what he has seen, the crew looks fit and ready for the big race. He said Pago Pago fully supports the Aeto crew, and the efforts of Utaifeau Bill Kalasa and the village aumaga.
The Aeto has definitely earned its place in the history of fautasi racing. It was a powerhouse back when the late Lealaifuaneva Peter Reid was captain. Other captains have followed — DMWR director Vaamua Henry Sesepasara, HTC Tuaolo Meko Aiumu, Punefuolemotu Tuaolo, and even the current skipper, Mageo Patolo.
But in recent years, the Aeto has failed to bring home the First Place standing they were accustomed to. One year, the boat capsized near Utulei Beach and the auvaa had to hang on while help was on the way.
The Aeto has fan clubs all over the United States. Despite their recent losing record, diehard supporters continue to sport the Blue and Gold — with pride. Don’t miss the race this Saturday. The Aeto may spread its wings and fly to the finish line, as it used to do, many moons ago.