Tubusereia canoe wins Aroma Coast race

Normal, Sports

INFORM Oil Search-sponsored Sebisebi from Motuan village of Tubusereia took out the annual Aroma Coast memorial race at Paramana village, Central province last Monday.
Sebisebi was followed by Aroma’s Marokele, Tubusereia’s Nasobe, Hula’s Melona, Tubusereia’s Auna Fonza, Aroma’s Amikoro and lone Barakau Kirigereana.
The race was sponsored by Environment and Conservation secretary Dr Wari Iamo after his charge Rinarau won the race last year.
Unfortunately Rinarau could not defend her title on Monday due to some family mishap.
But the day belonged to last year’s Somare Cup holder Sebisebi as ever-reliable skipper Kala Loi skillfully guided her home on the 24-leg course, much to the delight of her supporters who made the torturous six-hour road journey along the Magi Highway.
Seeing Nasobe, Amikoro, Melona and Auna Fonza ahead of her at the first turn, Sebisebi quickly gathered in past winner Auna Fonza before giving chase to the leading three.
Thirteen canoes took the field.
Soon after turning from the second buoy, she overtook ‘red danger’ Melona and Amikoro and established what looked like a two-way Tubusereia tussle.
Meanwhile, Marokele, with the advantage of “local knowledge,” was also creeping closer after turning behind Sebisebi at the first buoy.   
Sebisebi tracked wantok, Nasobe for the first part of the course before making a decisive move around the 11th marker. It is unclear whether Nasobe made a huge judgment error in chasing the next buoy or she failed to stay but that was where she lost the race as Sebisebi cleared this particular leg and made every post the winner.
She led throughout as the other fought for the minor placings.
Nasobe was soon overhauled by Marokele for the second spot, while Auna Fonza, Amikoro and Kirigereana tussled for the others.
The biggest improver was Israel Dikana’s “never-say-die” Kirigereana.
Her previous races had been quite uneventful but it was a different canoe on Monday.
She was an impressive fourth heading for the second last buoy when dying wind conditions allowed Melona to sneak back into fourth.
While Sebisebi had it her way almost throughout the race, her supporters had to sweat out a few agonizing minutes at the second last buoy as Marokele refused to go without a fight. 
But it was all over when a cool and confident Kala Loi cleared this easily while Marokele had to tack again.
At the presentation, Dr Iamo said he was happy to contribute to sustaining the sport of canoe racing along the Central province coast.
He said canoe racing was “a very crafty” art and encouraged other young men to participate meaningfully.
For her troubles, Sebisebi will host this year’s race, most likely at Aroma and the owners have called on canoe owners to start preparing in earnest for this major annual race.