The event was orgnised by Pacific Blue Foundation and was initially planned to take place on October 10 during the Fiji Day Holiday but was cancelled due to bad weather.
Founder of the Foundation, Dr Greg Mitchell said they want more sailors to take part next year.
“When we first started the race three years ago, only four canoes took part and then last year six took part and this year we witnessed eight,” Mitchell said.
“This shows that the interest generated by the race is really good and even close to a thousand people turned up here at the foreshore today (yesterday) to see the race,” he said.
He said he organised the event to create awareness of the Fijian canoe and its potential application today and in the future so that the knowledge of the canoe builders and the skills of those sailing the canoes are preserved.
“We recognize that the ocean-voyaging canoe was a key link to keeping ancient Fijian culture together and we view the craft as fundamental to Pacific island cultures.”
The event provided a platform for indigenous Fijians and the multicultural society in Fiji to experience the craftsmanship of building and sailing the traditional canoes.
Mitchell hopes that these races will continue as an annual event, drawing public awareness to a sailing culture that has been slowly fading away.
“We will be discussing with the government and the itaukei board to allow this event to be held every year on the Fiji Day public holiday,” he said.
The two sailor category was won by Jijiwa Bera of Moce and Jitoko Moce of Fulaga while second place went to Domonisere Setareki and his son Joeli Taufa of Fulaga and in third place was Lesi Paki of Moce and Setareki Koto of Fulaga.
In the single sailor category, Domonisere Setareki was first placed while Lesi Paki was second and in third place was Simione Paki of Moce.
The Bakanawa category was for children to carve or make a model of the Camakau and Jeremaia Roba of Fulaga was first place while Tuicakau of Moce and Hilo Ponitini of Fulaga shared second place and third place went to Filipe Senibua of Moce.
Read Traditional Fijian Canoes Take Part in Annual Boat Race on Fiji Times Online
Read Veitau Waqa Enforces Indigenous Skills on Fiji Times Online
Read Eight Boats for Race on Fiji Times Online