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MICRO CUP ENDS EVENTFUL WEEKEND

It was an eventful weekend for the 16th annual Micronesian Cup as many paddlers from the CNMI and the Asian regions of Japan and Hong Kong made their presence this weekend by showing off their international talents in the open waters of Guam at Dungca’s Beach in Tamuning and Paseo Beach in Agana to end the event.

By Jeff Ochavillo

It was an eventful weekend for the 16th annual Micronesian Cup as many paddlers from the CNMI and the Asian regions of Japan and Hong Kong made their presence this weekend by showing off their international talents in the open waters of Guam at Dungca’s Beach in Tamuning and Paseo Beach in Agana to end the event.

The race was a big turnout compared to previous years when it was last held on island in 2011 and in the summer of July in Pohnpei.

Saturday’s race held all the short-distanced races located at Dungca’s Beach in Tamuning. It consisted of the 500 meters and ended with the 1000 meters race. It was placed in the division of open men, open women, junior boys, and open mix.

Sunday’s race held the 12-mile iron race at Paseo in Agana, “Iron” as in the entire crew takes part in the race without any changes in the lineup. Also, Sunday held the 6-mile race for the Junior Boys, but was inside Agana bay inside in reefs instead out of the open ocean for safety measures.

In regards to international relations, it was a bigger turnout this year. Last years race was held in Palau and the amount of racers were limited due to the extreme heat. In 2011 when it was last held on Guam, it was mostly local paddlers competing. So from the transition, one of the head coordinators, Nikki Murphy went through so much to get this even coordinated. She stated, “We went out of our way to get all the teams to race all in the same time instead of breaking them up into different race times.”

The Taotao Galaide 1 team finishes with a chant before going ashore after wining the 12 miler.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Taotao Galaide 1 team finishes with a chant before going ashore after wining the 12 miler. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

In order to get all this accomplished, it took a tedious amount of organization and months too set up. Hong Kong, Palau, and Saipan are no strangers to the Guam waters because they always love to participate in the cup.

But Murphy says, “This year, we actually reached out to islands such as Pohnpei and Yap, which brought a different presence in the waters. It was not so difficult because of the close correlation to the Micronesian Games last summer. When we were there in Pohnpei in July, that is where we were raced, made our connections and encouraged them to come out this year.”

Phil Collins – “Skipper” – a paddler for Hong Kong who competed in the 12-mile iron race gave a few words of his own about the race this weekend. “I came in open for good results and acknowledge the talent in every boat; very pleased. Overall I am very happy, with the conditions and the entire race.”

Unlike his teammates, it was his first time competing in the open waters of Guam and he was able to finish the weekend by coming in 2nd in the overall Men’s Open 12-mile Iron. Afterwards he gave an impression that he surely would love to come again to compete in the Micronesian games.

For the 12-mile Iron Men’s Open, Taotao Galaide 2 finished first before everyone with a time of 1:51:21, followed by Hong Kong who came in a close 2nd. But it started to get exhilarating, as two different boats from Animun Tasi and Shake Bake were neck-to-neck and were headed towards finish line. But it was Tasi who finished in 3rd and left Shake and Bake falling short with the forth place trophy.

Team Palau comes in to finish the open men's 12 mile galaide race.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Team Palau comes in to finish the open men’s 12 mile galaide race. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

From the beginning of the race, Hong Kong was in 4th place while boats from Guam and Palau were leading the front. It was tight in the short end as paddlers from Palau started to slow down and Hong Kong took advantaged and pushed forward to take the 2nd place lead trailing Guam. However, Guam had too much of a stretch for Hong Kong to catch up leaving them to take 2nd and giving Guam 1st.

Unfortunately, afterwards a paddler from one of Palau’s boats overexerted himself at the final stretch of the race and needed medical attention after nearly passing out on the boat. He was immediately rushed to the hospital to be checked and taken care off.

But overall, with the exemption of the weather, which was quite unpredictable, the overall turnout was great. Everybody enjoyed the races even though they were out of breath when each racer tried to give an even a small pat on the back after their race. The Micronesian Games keeps getting more and more competitive every year, and definitely it will continue to be increasing in numbers and competitiveness throughout the years.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Wil Castro

Taotao Galaide 1 comes ashore and unloads after an exhausting and grueling 12 miles.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Taotao Galaide 1 comes ashore and unloads after an exhausting and grueling 12 miles. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Hong Kong United galaide team congratulates one another after finishing second in the 12 miler.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The Hong Kong United galaide team congratulates one another after finishing second in the 12 miler. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Race officials and spectators watch as other teams come into the basin to finish the 12 mile galaide race.  (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Race officials and spectators watch as other teams come into the basin to finish the 12 mile galaide race. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

(photo by Rock Anciano)

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