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Ratulai’s Fiji’s Best Bet

Ratulai’s Fiji’s Best Bet
Viliame Ratului (front), all smiles after winning his race at the National Sailing Centre yesterday. Photo: Jona Konataci
May 02
07:42 2015

Viliame Ratului has been tipped as the favourite to be selected as Fiji’s representative to the 2015 Youth World Sailing Championships.

The Year 10 student of Savusavu Secondary School said he had high hopes to represent Fiji and Oceania at the world meet this September in Malaysia.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, the 15- year-old was excited about competing in the Oceania meet, especially after winning all the practice runs.

“It felt good winning and for me it was especially exciting because it’s the first time for me to win any race,”Ratului said.

“I went to New Caledonia last year but didn’t manage to win so this time it felt really great winning.

“I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved and I really do hope to win the scholarship to represent Fiji and Oceania later this year.

“It all started when I was nine years old and followed a friend to take part in a competition in Savusavu and from there I just picked up the sport, fell in love with it and now I really enjoy sailing. The great thing about it is it gives you the opportunity to travel the world.”

Also a participant at the Youth Worlds Emerging Nations Programme over the past week, Ratului had learned a great deal.

“It’s been a really good experience getting to meet other young sailors from around the Pacific and I’ve learnt a lot about the respective events and also improved on my skills, technique and knowledge and I’m looking forward to putting that into practice.”

Meanwhile, his coach Roberta Lepper pinpointed him as the top bet to compete in the Youth World Sailing Championships.

“We haven’t started competing just yet but he has won all the practice races that we’ve held today (yesterday). He’s done very well for himself and while it’s quite a competitive field with all the strong young sailors, he stands a very good chance.

“It’s a very good field of competitors we’ve got in this year’s competition and we’re very excited to start the competition.

“Unfortunately we had to postpone the start of the competition to tomorrow because of the bad weather we had this morning but it’s looking to be a very good outing.”

The tournament proper is expected to start this morning at 10am and will run until Monday at the National Sailing Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva.




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