After the Miss Teuila pageant, the fautasi race is probably the most popular event of the Teuila festival. As in the Independence Day race, fautasi crews compete in a five kilometre races that starts at Faleula and ends in Apia harbour. Once again, two teams were the ones to beat. The Manono crew that won the Independence Day race and the Don Bosco crew that took top honours in American Samoa earlier in the year.
Unfortunately, I didn't watch the race live. Due to the reef and shallows, the race needs to be held in conjunction with high tide, so it started at 6am and I'm not much of a morning person. This didn't stop me from making a bet on the outcome with a colleague from my paddling club. We made a deal that if the Manono team won I would buy him a beer; if the Don Bosco boys took out the prize then he would buy me won. I'm happy to say that I'm now owed a beer. The Don Bosco team beat the Manono crew by a decent margin. I think it's a good thing. The Manono boys have won everything in sight for the last three or four years, so a changing of the guard is healthy.
The fautasi race isn't the only race during the festival however. This year our paddling regatta was incorporated into the program. It was a great day and we had a fantastic turn out. We had nine teams in the social division and three clubs submitted teams for the more professional divisions.
We decided after the last regatta that we needed a uniform. You have to look the goods even if you're actually not that good at all. Thus, we decked ourselves out in matching tshirts and lavalavas. Alas, it didn't bring great results, but that doesn't matter. We had a good time of things. In the more senior divisions there were some fantastic races. The Pualele club edged out the Paddles club in the big races but had to fight hard for their wins. The 500m final for example saw less than a second separating the first two boats, with third place finishing less than two seconds behind them. Very exciting stuff.