03 June 2021, Marina Del Rey, California. The International Va’a Federation (IVF) Board have awarded the hosting of the 2021 World Long Distance Championship of Outrigger Canoeing to Samoa following a unanimous vote in Marina Del Rey, California earlier today.
This comes after a bidding process where Samoa’s 2-man delegation had to fly across to the United States and present before the IVF Board of Directors.
The event to be held from 8th to 15th of August 2021 is expected to bring 1,500 paddlers from 38 countries to the shores of Samoa.
In California to present Samoa’s bid to the IVF Board were President of Samoa’s Outrigger Canoe (Alo Paopao) Association, Jay Ah Fook-Schuster and national coach Andy Wheatly.
As is commonly the case in the development of sports in Samoa and the Pacific, the pair run their own businesses and give up their time voluntarily to pursue the development of alo paopao in Samoa. Mr Schuster and Mr Wheatly also coach and organise local clubs and Samoa’s national teams including the current preparations for the upcoming Pacific Games.
Mr Schuster says that Samoa’s safe and unique coastal waters, rich culture and beauty were their key selling points together with Samoa’s track record of being able to organise logistics around hosting high level international events.
Mr Schuster says they are grateful to the many people behind the scenes that have made this possible.
“Thank you to the Samoa Government and our Samoa Paopao Association, as well as all our members for their support;
“Winning the bid has been a great achievement, but with the excitement comes the planning and preparation which starts now, to make sure we host the best ever World Long Distance event the IVF members have ever seen;
“We look to our business sector, the tourism industry, the Samoan community and our Government for a collaborative approach towards a successful event,” said Ah Fook-Schuster.
In a public statement the IVF Board congratulated the Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association for a successful bid.
“Congratulations to the Samoa Outrigger Canoe Association who have just won the bid to host the 2021 IVF World Distance Championship;
“The IVF Board and Membership voted unanimously to select Samoa as hosts and are excited to enjoy the Samoan culture and rich Va’a history,” read the statement.
In other bids, the International Va’a Federation also announced that the Great Britain Outrigger Canoe Association (GBOCA) has been awarded the right to host the 2022 IVF World Sprint Championships in London, England.
“The IVF Board and membership are looking forward to this event being hosted in Europe for the very first time in our sports history”.