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7 September 2007, 05:31 pm
Competitors Ready In Samoa
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The South Pacific Games sailing competition will also be celebrating the ISAF Centenary

South Pacific Games 2007

The South Pacific Games 2007 have kicked off in Samoa with the first technical meetings held.
Racing will take place in Hobie 16s, Lasers and Laser Radials and athletes from the Pacific Region are all eligible to enter.

Sailors are competing from the following nations: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Wallis and Futuna

With the help of the enthusiastic sailing volunteers, the registration of 42 athletes ran smoothly from 09:00 and there competitors are split into the following three fleets

14 men's lasers
8 women's laser radial
10 Hobie 16s

The Technical meeting allowed the International Sailing Federation delegate, David BROOKES, to elaborate upon specifics for the South Pacific Games Regatta. Following lunch, the Sailing management team held a Skippers' Meeting where David BROOKES advised sailors of any rock and coral hazards. The teams spent the remainder of the day either checking currents and wind directions or strategising ready for tomorrow's commencement of competition.

A Brief Interaction with some of the competitors

John GOEKE is competing for American Samoa and has been sailing for 10 years but only in local regattas. He says that he is feeling confident and is looking forward to all the hard work paying off. His sailing partner was at the last South Pacific Games in Fiji and they are feeling well prepared for whatever the Samoan ocean throws their way. The American Samoa Team were full of praise for the venue and organisers and are really enthusiastic about starting the competition tomorrow.

Peter E. HENRY from the Cook Islands has been sailing for 6 years and has been to New Zealand to compete recently. He and the team from the Cook Islands have been competing together for 6 years and they are aiming for Gold at this competition.

Jock LUITA is competing for Fiji, has been sailing for approximately 5 years and is happy to be back in Samoa for the second time. He is very keen to get a gold metal at the South Pacific Games.

Kevin NATADRA is sailing for Fiji and is both the youngest competitor in the Fiji team and is the youngest participating in the sailing competition at the South Pacific Games. Kevin became involved in sailing by accident 3 months ago. The Fiji sailing coach was dropping one of his crew at Kevin's village when he was greeted by a group of enthusiastic young people wanting to learn more about sailing. The coach suggested that the following day, anyone who wanted to try sailing should meet him. The coach was greeted by about 30 enthusiastic children and was forced to choose one. He smiled and said the choice was easy, he looked for the boy who was the 'boss' of the group and chose him to join the sailing team. Good leaders make good sailors. Kevin has since been to San Francisco where he nearly fell over with shock at the prospect of sailing in a competition with 60 other boats! The coach jokes that it should be Kevin's objective to stop his captain yelling at him and to try and win.

Jessee BESSON is competing for French Polynesia and has been sailing for 10 years which has given him the opportunity to compete in a variety of International Regattas. His hopes for the South Pacific Games regatta are to 'do my best'.

Carole DABIN is competing for New Caledonia and she has been sailing for 10 years which has seen her compete on the international stage throughout the Pacific. She is looking to win a gold medal at this regatta.

Upu KILA is competing for Papua New Guinea and has been sailing for 24 years. He has been to World Championships, 4 South Pacific Games and has been competing regularly in Australia. He is aiming for individual gold and he and his Fiji counterparts were jokingly declaring that they would join together so that they could 'blitz' the team competition.

Morkie MOREA is also competing for Papua New Guinea and he aims to win a medal with Upu KILA in the Hobie 16s. The team don't live close to each other so they have only been able to train during school holidays. This has meant that they have not had the ideal lead-up to the regatta but they are confident nonetheless.

Shannon HUMRICH is competing for Samoa and has been sailing for 8 years. This is his first international regatta competing with lasers but has been to 3 Oceania's in optimist class. He aims to 'give it my best and hope for a medal - go Samoa!'

Blake MILROY is also competing for Samoa and has been sailing for 12 years. He has a wealth of international experience and competed in Fiji at the South Pacific Games 4 years ago. He hopes to earn a gold medal at this regatta.

Pancrasio SIKAWAAE is from the Solomon Islands and he and his team mates have been sailing together for 6 years. He is aiming for a gold metal at South Pacific Games.

Kolotita SEUVEA is visiting Samoa for the first time from Wallis and Futuna. She has been sailing for 2 years and this is her first international regatta. Kolotita is hoping to try her best and learn vast amounts from this experience. Please read our special story on the Wallis and Futuna Sailing Team.

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