National Bank of Vanuatu Team heading out for a training session with their coach

People living along the First and Second Lagoon are commenting on how busy the lagoon is early every morning, at lunch and again each evening.

Why is this different from the usual rowing traffic of the girl’s elite squad training four times a week; the Elite Men’s team rowing twice daily six days a week; the small but dedicated para-rowers team rowing every Thursday morning; the older Port Vila Rowing Club members getting fit for the Masters in Paradise competition against overseas rowing teams and then the other usual enthusiasts rowing for fitness and recreation. So why is the lagoon even busier?

It’s Corporate Regatta time again.

The Port Vila Rowing Club holds two Corporate Regattas each year – one in April/May and the other in October. It’s a quads event – that is four rowers in a single boat, sculling – a two oared rowing style (backwards). The October Corporate Regatta has attracted some new teams and even on the more experienced teams such as ANZ, AJC and Aon, some new faces. Some teams such as UNELCO are really showing corporate spirit and are fielding two teams + other staff coming along to learn to row in singles. Fletchers is back in the Regatta and should give Aon, AJC and ANZ – three of the strongest teams, a run (or row) for their money. BSP is a very welcome new team as is the new team from Tusker. It’s good to see the National Bank of Vanuatu – the Rowing Club’s main corporate sponsor — back in the competition with a new team. The Medi Rowers team has never stopped rowing since the last Regatta, rowing several times a week and using the Rowing Club’s gym frequently.

Dr Maine, a member of the Vila Central Hospital’s team “Medi-Rowers” commented, “I did my BMI (Body Mass Index) and was not happy at all with the results. In Vanuatu, we are seeing such an epidemic of diabetes or ‘Sik Suga’ and obesity. Regular exercise is critical in enjoying a healthy lifestyle. So I thought that as a medical professional, I should be ‘walking the talk’ myself by rowing. I was 103 kilos when I started and I’ve dropped 10 kilos. Still a bit more to go but I feel so good and it’s such a great atmosphere down here at the Club – everyone is just so welcoming.”

The October Corporate Regatta will be held on Sunday 15th October in conjunction with the Masters in Paradise Regatta which sees international rowers flying in from around the world to participate in this type of competition aimed at rowers 28 years old and over. Many of these are ex-representatives of their country who have rowed at elite levels, giving our Ni-Vanuatu rowers a chance to a unique experience observe and row with the visitors in training, socially and of course — competitively.

This time, the Corporate Regatta will be held at The Ramada. This new location will give a stunning view up and down the lagoon of the races.

And who is tipped to win the Perpetual Trophy or the new National Bank of Vanuatu “Team Spirit Cup?” You’d better come along to see for yourself!

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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