Best Sunshine International’s Corporate Social Responsibility team collaborated with Napu Outrigger Canoe Club and SUP Saipan to make this year’s Mau Fatuul Classic a success.
Rep. Ramon Tebuteb, who was present throughout the event last weekend at the Chamolinian Utt , gave insights on why they are holding the Mau Fatuul Classic every year. “The reason we have this is to continue to facilitate the canoe culture. As you know, in the Pacific, canoeing is a very fundamental aspect of our lives. Canoes are us,” explained Tebuteb.
Mau Piailug was a traditional navigator from the tiny island of Satawal and he taught the Polynesians about the lost traditional navigation skills. In 1976, he went to Hawaii and helped the Polynesians on their voyage to Tahiti using only the natural elements and skills.
BSI-CSR representative Dania Mettao, one of the main coordinators of the event, explained that Best Sunshine’s involvement in last weekend’s competition was a result of their success in coordinating the Timmy Would Go race.
“It’s in honor of Mau Piailug, master navigator. His sons are here and I know they wanted to do this event after they saw how Timmy Would Go happen. They saw it was big and the organization had a good partnership with SUP Saipan and Napu, so they called us again to organize it,” Mettao said.
BSI-CSR provided water and fruits for the competing teams, built tents to ensure everyone who watched the races and participated had some place to stay cool, and funded the awards banquet held last Sunday. The group also made the trophies for the event winners from scratch. They were created from a tree that fell during Typhoon Soudelor and the CSR team used the wood-burning method to bring the design back to life.
However, the most vital role BSI-CSR played in the event was their facilitation of the races. They provided manpower on land and out in the water to ensure the races ran fairly and smoothly and that the appropriate times were recorded.
SUP Saipan president Ponce Rasa, the main organizer of the event, praised BSI-CSR for their efficiency up until the very end of the event.
“The CSR1 team has exceeded all expectations. Everyone went above and beyond to make the event run smoothly,” Rasa said. “I’m blown away by how smoothly everything went. CSR1 paid attention to all the itty bitty and key, intricate details. I can honestly tell you that the privilege of working with them is ours.”
Tebuteb also recognized the efficiency of the BSI-CSR staff. “The impact that they have in our community is so large that other people may not see it. For example, the CSR employees facilitating the race in the water, they set the bar for the coordination of this race and future races to come to an upper scale.”
Napu coach Jason Tarkong applauded Best Sunshine’s CSR team for their coordination and assistance throughout the entire event. Tarkong thanked BSI during the banquet and mentioned that this event would not have been possible without them. He asked everyone present at the awards banquet to give BSI-CSR a round of applause.
The teams that competed in multiple races throughout the event were Marianas Outrigger Canoe Club, Saipan Paddling Club, Marianas Pacific Paddlers, and Ho Lokahi. (PR)