30 May 2013

Samoa's only woman long boat skipper gets top French president award

6:59 am on 30 May 2013

Samoa's only long boat or fautasi female skipper, Vaimasenu'u Zita Martel, has been awarded the French president's national order of merit award for her distinguished services to France.

Vaimasenu'u, who is fluent in French, was first appointed in 2000 to head the French Consulate in Samoa.

Vaimasenu'u, whose husband is French, is well known for being the first and only female skipper of fautasi since 2000.

She has captained and won many races in Samoa and American Samoa and made history by winning last year's 50th Independence Fautasi Race.

The French Ambassador to Samoa, Francis Etienne, is in Samoa to present the award in a ceremony today at the famous Robert Louis Stevenson's museum at Vailima.