The 19th annual Micronesia Cup closed out this year’s competition Sunday afternoon with the endurance races finishing up the region’s elite paddling competition. With paddles finally out of the water, competitors came together at Chamorro Village Sunday night to celebrate the winners and most of all celebrate the spirit and comraderie of the event.
“It’s really great to see that the sport is continuing, not just to grow but also strengthening also from past years and I know with all of your participation…it’s safe to say the sport will be safe in the coming years,” Jermaine Alerta, President of the Guam Kayak & Canoe Federation told the congregation of paddlers at the closing ceremony.
Paddlers representing 17 clubs and more than 40 teams kicked off the Cup at Matapang Beach on Friday with the 1,000-meter sprints and followed that up with the 500-meter sprints and “Neni” race exhibition on Saturday. On Sunday competitors closed out a weekend of beautiful weather with the long endurance race from Hagåtña boat basin gliding across the water to Two Lovers’ Point and back with the men going 10 miles, women competing at 8 miles and the mixed races a distance of 6 miles.
In Sunday’s races, Marianas Outrigger Club Saipan took the top time for the men in the 10-mile endurance race after also taking the top time in the Men’s 500-meter sprint on Saturday.
Belau Kanu Club continued to haul in the gold, taking first place in the women’s 8-mile and mixed 6-mile endurance races. BKC also took top times in the women’s and mixed 500-meter races, as well as the men’s 1000-meter sprint.
Guam adult team’s may not have found success on the water, with Tao Tao Galaide bringing home the only gold with a win in Friday’s 1000-meter mixed sprint, however, the island’s youth carried the torch on Sunday.
The Haggan Junior Boys and Mixed teams pulled in the top times in Sunday’s junior endurance races and also took first place in the 1000-meter mixed sprint and 500-meter boys’ and 500-meter mixed sprints.
“I’m very proud of our juniors and the work they put it this weekend,” Haggan coach Ron Ruiz told The Guam Daily Post.
“The water is my life” says Kiara Quichocho, who steered the Haggan boys and mixed team to the title in Sunday’s junior endurance races. Quichocho, a 2017 graduate from Academy of Our Lady of Guam hopes more youth try paddling and continue to grow the paddling community on Guam.
“It is such a close group … it’s like a family,” said Quichocho, who also is a certified swim instructor.
Napu Outrigger Canoe Club Saipan took gold in the junior girls’ endurance race to go with their top finishes in the 500-meter girls’ sprint on Saturday and 100-meter boys’ and 1000 meter girls’ sprint races on Friday.
Next up on the paddling event schedule is the “Timmy Would Go” in Saipan in January. The 2018 Micronesia Cup will be in Saipan on the final weekend of October.
Source: Google News : https://www.postguam.com/sports/local/paddlers-celebrate-wins-friendships/article_9ef42eba-bde6-11e7-9489-870b4933c16c.html