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19 February 2007, 11:49 am
Team Report In From Waitemata Harbour
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Samoa Sailing Association News

Strong winds and stiff competition faced the Samoa Sailing Team as they competed in the ISAF Grade 1 Sail Auckland Regatta on Waitemata Harbour at the start of February. The Samoan team faced off against sailors from Great Britain, France, Australia and Tahiti in heavy to moderate winds ranging from 15-25 knots.
Fleet Captain and Laser Coach Raema VON REICHE reported most team members had completed their races despite the cold and windy weather conditions.

'The conditions are new for us. We are not use to the waves and swell,' VON REICHE said.

It was expected the regatta would provide the team with invaluable international experience as they prepared for the upcoming South Pacific Games.

While the team has predominantly finished at the back of the fleet, the athletes worked hard to maintain their positions, ensuring Team Samoa was represented well despite their lack of international experience. VON REICHE was the top performer in the Laser Radial fleet, coming in 19th out of the 21 starters. In the 44-strong Laser fleet, ISAF Youth Worlds veteran Blake MILROY was the top Samoan finisher in 41st.

Training Ground

'This Regatta has been an excellent training ground for us as the competition is pretty tough. We are competing with the very best sailors from these countries,' VON REICHE said.

'Our team is in good spirits but we have unanimously decided we would like more training and experience,' she said. 'The team are keeping fit and maintaining high energy levels to see if we can improve our performance up in Kerikeri'.

The team will travel north to Kerikeri during the week to compete in the ISAF Grade 2 Laser New Zealand Championships. The team will return from New Zealand on 24 February.

From 25 August-8 September, Samoa will host the 2007 South Pacific Games with racing to take place in the Laser, Laser Radial and Hobie 16 events.

Katrina Jocumsen (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Team Samoa competed in the tough Laser fleets in Auckland:© Terry Fong
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