Brave Segavao Don Bosco Team Take Second Place


1 June 2013 | General Interest

Segavao Don Bosco Brave in Defeat

The Digicel Segavao Don Bosco team took a courageous second place in the 2013 Annual Independence Fautasi (Longboat) Championships held in rough, stormy weather on Friday 31 May.


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“Segavao Brave in Defeat” proclaimed the headlines of the Samoa Observer Newspaper the day after the Annual Independence Fautasi (Longboat) competition. The Digicel Segavao Don Bosco boat came second in heroic circumstances in the 2013 Fautasi. The conditions early in the morning of Friday 31 May were very rough but calmed somewhat just before the race was due to start, prompting our captain to choose the new boat, which is low and sleek in comparison to the old boat. However, another storm front came through just after the start of the race and the conditions were once again extremely rough. The Don Bosco boys got off to a flying start but right from the beginning of the race they started taking on water. As it turned out, the weather conditions were far more suited to the older style boats, who performed better in the rough seas than the newer style boats designed for speed in calmer waters.

Nevertheless, the Don Bosco boys, inspired by their captain, Vaimasenu’u Zita Martel, continued to battle on despite the atrocious conditions and keep within striking distance of the “Le Tolotolo o Tama Uli, an "old" style boat from Salelologa, which keep inching ahead of them. Despite their courageous efforts in a boat filling with water and starting to list, they were never able to catch the Salelologa boat in the gruelling five mile race and were placed second. It is worth noting that the Don Bosco crew, with their never give up attitude, held off other old style boats, including the crew from the neighbouring Pesega College.

The boys were both heart-broken and resolutely courageous as they crossed the finish line. After more than a month of intensive training, they knew they had given everything and were happy with themselves and their efforts, yet the tears flowed. There were emotional scenes as fellow students, past pupils, parents, family and other supporters sang the boat home. Then more than one hundred people lifted the boat ashore and turned it upside down, at which time half a boat load of water spilled out. Then they lifted it high above their heads and moved it back to its dock. Then it was time for the Digicel Segavao Don Bosco to celebrate their courageous second place in song, dance and prayer.

Now the Don Bosco Segavao team prepares for an international challenge race against the crew of the USS Pearl Harbor next Saturday, 8 June. After the race the boys from Don Bosco will be the guests of the Commander of the USS Pearl Harbor and will entertain the crew and volunteers on board the ship.