Family affair in standup paddling races


Ponce Rasa, second left, Robin Sapong, right, and two others negotiate the 100m course in the standup paddling race last Saturday during the 2nd Annual Timmy Would Go Memorial Paddle Classic held in the waters off Kilili Beach. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Members of the Rasa and Andrew families ruled the standup paddling races held last Saturday in the waters off Kilili Beach during the 2nd Annual Timmy Would Go Memorial Paddle Classic.

Ponce Rasa and his children Iris and Kaya, and siblings Tyler, Kaleah, and Joshua Andrew topped their respective events, joining other first place finishers Somia Quan, Noki Rogopes, Zia Buniag, and Hiromi Matagolai.

Ponce prevailed in the 30 to 49 age group’s 100 sprint, beating Rogopes and John Tudela. His youngest child Irish took the gold medal in the shorter 50m sprint in the Little Timmy girls division, while Kaya defeated Carmelito Castro in the girls 11 to 14’s 100m race.

Josh handed the Andrew family two of its four gold medals after winning in the 15 to 29 division’s 100m and 300m races. In the 100m event, Andrew placed ahead of Joey Tudela and Vincent Tudela Jr., while in the longest standup paddle race of the day, the former downed Steven Goodwin and Joey Tudela.

Josh’s brother Tyler gained the gold medal in the Little Timmy’s 50m sprint, while their sister Kaleah occupied the center spot in the medal podium after reigning supreme in the women’s 15 to 29’s 100m sprint. Kaleah won over Reaven Jei Cruz and Zia Buniag.

Buniag made up for her third place finish in the 100m sprint by ruling the 300m race. She edged Galina Lalomala and Isa Ito, while Rogopes also redeemed himself from an earlier loss when he won the 30 to 49’s 300m race. Rogopes beat Carten Aldan and Robin Sapong.

In the women’s 30 to 49’s 100m and 300m races, Quan had a sweep, prevailing against the same foes, including her cousin Soledad Tenorio. Tenorio was ranked third in both events, while Harumi Suzuki recorded runner-up finishes in the two races.

Completing the standup paddling races champions list were Luis Mario, who topped the boys 11 to 14’s 100m sprint and Matagolai, who claimed the gold medals in the over 50’s 100m and 300m events.

Meanwhile, Ponce Rasa of the organizing Napu Outrigger Canoe Club thanked all those who made last weekend’s races possible.

“Hundreds of people gathered to honor Timmy Boy’s life and heroism at the Timmy Would Go 2nd Annual Memorial Paddle Classic. The two-day event brought in close to 200 paddlers if not more, and they to show their love and support for a young local hero, Timothy Salas Wesley Jr., who made the ultimate sacrifice attempting to save the life of another,” Rasa said in an official statement sent to Saipan Tribune.

“The shores filled with paddlers, young and old, new and seasoned in both outrigger and SUP races. It was truly humbling to see the amount of people who showed up on both days. Guam teams not only brought in their paddlers, but a few brought their families too. It was a very special day shared by all, which ended with a group picture of smiling competitors cheering, ‘for Timmy!’” Rasa added.

The list of Timmy Would Go sponsors includes: Imperial Pacific International CSR; MarPac Budweiser; KZMI 103.9FM; Marianas Variety; TSL Foundation; Win Win Way Saipan; Bridge Capital LLC; Bank of Guam; IT&E; Pacific Trading; Joeten Superstore; KKMP; Wind Surf Saipan; Go See Mark; First Lady Dianne Torres Foundation; McDonalds Saipan; JET Holdings; G4S Security; Coral Ocean Point; DFS T Galleria; Let Go Saipan Tours; Star ATV; Saipan Apparel; Kanoa Resort; World Resort and Spa; Fiesta Resort and Spa; Legends; Cultura Athletics; Boarderline Skate and Surf Shop; The All Star Sporting Goods; Hyatt Regency Saipan; Gov. Ralph DLG Torres; Delegate Gregorio “Kilili” C. Sablan; Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang; Reps. BJ Attao, Edmund Villagomez, Vince Sablan, Angel Demapan, Joseph Lee Guerrero, and John Paul Sablan; Sens. Sixto Igisomar and Arnold Palacios; Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council members; MINA, BECQ; Division of Parks and Recreation; DPS Boating Safety Unit; DFEMS; Pacific Aerial Images Co; emcees DJ Bonez and L.J. Castro; Ed Johnson; Justine Andrew and his team; safety and chase crew members; Guma’ Sumiyan Manaina-Ta; and PDI Warriors.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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