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UPDATE: Unofficial fautasi race results CONFIRMED

Vatia village’s “Fuao” fautasi, captained by Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie, claimed first place in this year’s Flag Day fautasi race, and this has now been confirmed by the Fautasi Committee.Earlier today there were questions raised with the Fautasi Committee as to whether all fautasi made it to the buoy for the U-turn with some claiming that Vatia didn’t abide by the rules. Because of  lingering questions, committee chairman U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Eric Runyon went to the KVZK-TV studios to review tape recordings from the race. “From my review of the tapes, every fautasi team did the right thing, no one did anything wrong and it was a clean race,” he told Samoa News. “I am very glad that it was a fair race from the start to the end. No team is disqualified.”He said the outcome of the race in the morning are the officials results: with 1st place Fuao of Vatia; second place Aeto of Pago Pago; third place went to the Sharks of Samoan High School; 4th place is Satani of Nu’uuli;  5th place Fetu o le Afiafi of Fagaalu; and 6th place Fealofani Samoa III of Fagasa. Matasaua fautasi representing the Manu’a Island group wasn’t able to participate because the fautasi sustained a broken rudder.“I feel really bad and a bit sad that Matasaua was unable to race this year. My heart goes out to them as the team trained and practice hard,” said Runyon when asked for his reaction.At the end the race, the Fuao crew stood up and waved to the shoreline crowd that was cheering at the fautasi. Some fans and spectators went into the ocean to cheer as the Fuao headed to the finish line.Finishing second was the Aeto of Pago Pago, which was last year’s winner. Third place was claimed by Samoan High School, followed by Satani of Nu’uuli, then Fetu o le Afiafi of Fagaalu, and last place went to Fealofani Samoa III of Fagasa.There were originally, seven fautasi for the race, but Matasaua - representing the Manu’a island group - was not able to participate, due to a broken steering rudder, according to reports received by Samoa News. Two supporters of Matasaua also confirmed this. Crew and supporters of Matasaua were seen at the Fagaalu Park around 4a.m today getting prepared. The crew was seen doing final exercises and the crew was then seen taking the fautasi out, heading towards the starting line. However, the crew and fautasi were later seen back, at Fagaalu Bay Park. Their supporters rushed to Fagaalu Park to find out what happened. Around 7:10a.m., official word from the Matasaua camp confirmed the fautasi was not racing due to the broken rudder, which was reported damaged as the fautasi was heading into Pago harbor to the starting line.RACE COURSE CHANGEDue to rough seas, Flag Day Fautasi Race Committee changed the course of the fautasi race, starting from inside the Pago harbor - fronting ASCO Motors. Race committee official U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Eric Runyon told Samoa News last night that there were two plans for the race. The first was the main race course of five miles heading into Pago harbor, and plan B - in case of bad weather - was to start from the inner harbor, go out to the mouth of the harbor and back, also about a five mile course. He says the race committee along with a handful of fautasi captains was out late yesterday afternoon to lay flags for the starting line, further out from the mouth of the harbor. “It was very rough there,” he said in a phone interview. So it was decided that Plan B, or the alternate plan, will be implemented “for safety reasons”, to ensure that all crew members remained safe. The race got underway around 7:15a.m. from inside the harbor fronting ASCO Motors heading out towards the mouth of the harbor. From there fautasi made a U-turn and returned to the starting line, which was then the finish line. Fans flocked the shoreline of Pago Pago Bay harbor as early as 4:30a.m. today to find a good viewing site. More coverage and photos as they become available