Translated from files of FaaSamoa. The winning captain of Samoa’s 50th Independence fautasi race is training up a whole new crew of youngsters mostly aged between 17 and 19 for the upcoming 60th anniversary challenge.
In an interview with Vaimasenuu, she revealed that there are 80 youth currently camped including four young women, all aspiring for one of just 46 seats on the Don Bosco fautasi.
“The four ladies are also in camp, working hard and vying for a place in the final cut,” said the first woman to conquer what has been for centuries, a male dominant traditional sport in Samoa.
The long gap since a fautasi race has been held, means all of Vaimasenuu’s training squad have zero experience and will all be participating in their first ever fautasi race.
“It has been several years now since a race has been organised, and none of our previous crew are back to help train and pass on their knowledge and experience,” said Vaimasenuu.
However, Vaimasenuu says she is encouraged by the spirit of the young men and women in her camp.
“This young crew have a never-give-up attitude and are not at all phased by the challenge ahead of them,” said Vaimasenuu.
“Their courageous strength and willingness to endure the hard training gives me great confidence.”
“O se agaga faagaeetia ma faaloto tele le vaaia lea o le fanau o loo iai le agaga tauivi ma le lē faavai..”
There are five fautasi participating in this year’s much anticipated event. Joining Don Bosco is the Segavao from Siusega, Little Rina from Toamua, Tolotolo o le Tamauli from Salelologa and the Telefoni o le Vainuu from Manono Tai.
The prize money for the close of Samoa’s year long 60th Independence celebrations fautasi race, is $60k tala.