On April 17 every year, the citizens of American Samoa in the South Pacific celebrate the anniversary of the island becoming a US territory in 1900. In addition to singing, dancing and parades, one of the most unique parts of the festival is the Fautasi, or longboat, races held in Pago Pago harbor. Schools and communities from across the islands form teams to train and row a 2.8 mile race in custom-built 49 person boats!
This year, Concept2 was approached by the Vatia village to supply a set of oars for their new Fautasi, the Fuao. Always eager to try new things, we designed and built the custom oars to the boatman’s specifications, and learned a lot about the unique aspects of Fautasi racing. We’re continually surprised with the new and unique ways that people from around the globe use Concept2 products!
At this years’ Flag Day race, the rowers from Vatia finished a very impressive fourth out of seven in the Grand Final race; this was a special finish considering that it’s been decades since a team from this village rowed in the competition. Congratulations to all the rowers of the Fuao on a great race, and we’re looking forward to following the results of the Concept2’s latest (and largest!) crew for years to come.