God is Great — “Aeto 2” is ready for the competition!
It is confirmed by the owner and captain of the “God is Great” boat that this is Aeto’s 2nd boat. Many have thought that the boat belongs in Faleniu but Saviliga Afu, the captain and owner of the fautasi, told with Samoa News the boat belongs in Pago Pago.
“Many have thought that the boat belongs to Faleniu but no— it belongs in Pago Pago where I live, so this year — it’s the second year of racing I’ve had this boat — and it is the second boat for the AETO.”
According to the captain, God is Great is rowed by the tupulaga and youth of Pago Pago.
They have been preparing for Flag Day since the beginning of this year. They have had a good amount of boys who wanted to learn how to row from Pago Pago and who have not experienced being part of the Flag Day or fautasi race.
“We had the boat down for two months — January and February —because we had so many inexperienced boys who needed to learn how to use the oars and learn how to row. So this was done for two months and then right after, we brought the boat back out and started training the boys on their strengths,” Afu said.
Liatama Amisone, Jr., who has been training the crew, told Samoa News, “The boys would train mornings and evenings, but our main focus was their strength. They already got their fitness, but the strength needs work only because they are young so they were able to work on that through daily pulling.”
Captain Afu added that the boys have come a long way and have gained a lot of strength from training. “From my own opinion I can see God is Great will get a good placing during this Fautasi race.”
The God is Great trainer said, “Our boys are all set with their heat. This has been an easy ride and now we are waiting for the competition to start already.”
Afu pointed out that the fautasi is named “God is Great” because “God has always done so much good to me so I owe it all to Him.”
He sends out “big thanks to the Maoputasi village councils members, such as Tuaolo Fruean for supporting the boys, thank you to all the churches and faiths for endless prayers to make this possible for the boys.
“Thank you to the Drug Free Coalition for emphasizing the importance to teach the boys to stay away from it. That is the reason we have this is to invite kids to come row so they can stay away from drugs,” the captain said.
Afu said, “Thank you to the AETO #1 for the support, the parents and families of these boys for supporting them.
“We do not have a sponsor for this boat but we do our own stuff with the help of Pacific Printing, T.I. Brothers, PJ Cooperation, Signmaster.
“Last but not least a big thank you to Liatama Amisone Jr., he has always been my right-hand man, who never let the team down. He has been training the boys since we started and I thank him for that,” he concluded.
In yesterday’s fautasi story, Samoa News reported that “God is Great”, formerly of Faleniu village, is now ‘independent’. However, with this information from Afu, it would designate the fautasi as the second fautasi for the village of Pago Pago, while the Sinapioa is listed as the second boat for Aua.
All fautasi that are “second” boats for the villages are racing in Heat #2, still scheduled for Wednesday, Apr. 12, 2017.