Geologist Mentors Olympic Sailor in Unique Partnership

American geologist Chris Goldfinger has been aiding national sailing representative Viliame Ratului in understanding aerodynamics, emphasizing the similarities between sails and wings. The two first met in February at the Vuda Marina.

Ratului, who began sailing at nine, will represent Fiji at the France Olympics in Paris later this month. On Tuesday night, a farewell event was held for them at the Boat Shed in Vuda.

Sharing a mutual passion for the water, the Savusavu native and Goldfinger have formed a close friendship. They depart for Paris today.

Recalling their initial interaction, Goldfinger said, “When we met, the marina was supporting him in many ways. He didn’t have anyone to discuss sailing with.” He continued, “We talked about various aspects, enhancing his understanding of how things work and what to do in different situations. As a pilot, I know aerodynamics well, and sails and wings are almost the same.”

Goldfinger mentioned his previous involvement in intercollegiate racing on the West Coast and how this experience equips him to train others. “The boat Billy Ratului is racing is similar to the one we used to race. It’s crucial to make the boat go fast, and at his level, perfection is needed. It’s a very high standard.”

Ratului’s coach in Savusavu, Jeff Taylor, was instrumental in his early development. “I look forward to the upcoming event. I did not realize this pathway would begin in Savusavu,” Ratului remarked, expressing gratitude for his community’s support.

Vuda Marina General Manager Adam Wade pointed out that Ratului comes from a rugby-centric nation and is breaking new ground by taking up sailing. Former national representative Tony Philip Sr. praised Ratului’s support network, including Vuda Marina and the Fiji Yachting Association, ensuring that he is well-prepared for the challenges ahead.

Popular Categories

Latest News

Search the website