TRADITIONAL boat builders and sailors will take to the waters of the Suva foreshore on Saturday to take part in the Veitau Waqa event as part of a build-up to the Fiji Day celebrations.
And event organiser, the Pacific Blue Foundation, wants the event to help preserve the knowledge of traditional iTaukei boat-building and sailing.
Co-ordinator Roko Josefa Cinavilakeba said with the growing impact of technology, traditional knowledge was slowly slipping away.
Bearing the theme, 'The Boat Lives', Roko Josefa said the event would celebrate iTaukei sailing and boat building while also raising awareness on the need to preserve our land and sea resources.
The Pacific Blue foundation aims to rake in 10 camakau (traditional sailing vessels) for the event.
Roko Josefa said the races would be in three categories — single sailor, double sailor and the ever popular bakanawa in which children will race their miniature model camakau.
He said the event was brought to Suva to give more people an appreciation for the art of traditional sailing.
While traditional sailing and boat building are commonly associated with the people of Lau, there are other areas in Fiji where traditional sailing knowledge is still kept. And this is a fact Roko Josefa wants to impress on people.
"This art does not only belong to the people of Lau but to the people of Fiji as a whole because when early Fijians inhabited Fiji, they travelled on traditional vessels.
"I want to thank the founder of Pacific Blue Foundation Mr Graham Mitchell for his vision and ideas to uphold this traditional knowledge."