Marianas Outrigger Canoe’s men’s team is on the long list of CNMI squads that will be competing in the Micro Cup 2016 in Palau later this month.
MOC coach/paddler Dino Manning said their men’s crew is made up of nine people and they will be competing in four events in the Micro Cup, which will be held in the waters off Meyuns Ramp in Koror from Oct. 21 to 23. Manning is among the crewmembers and is joined on the team by Jose Quan, Vince Tudela, Bobby Cruz, Rich Salas, Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel, Billy Grow, Angel San Nicolas, and James Lee.
Manning and company will be racing in the 500m sprint, 1,500m event, long distance (around 20K) and V1 (one-man canoe in 500m).
“We have yet to decide who among us will join in the V1,” Manning said in an interview with Saipan Tribune yesterday.
He added that the squad has been training for the tournament in Palau in the last six months. They are practicing four times a week with each session on weekdays lasting for one and a half hours.
“On weekends, we usually do long distance training and it’s good for two to three hours,” Manning said.
The MOC coach has no specific idea of the teams (outside the CNMI) they will be facing in Palau, but he expects a bigger field since last year’s event that Saipan was scheduled to host was canceled due to Typhoon Soudelor.
“I am sure there will be a lot of strong teams going to Palau because they are pretty excited to be back in the water and compete after the event on Saipan last year was canceled. It’s hard to tell who will win, but for me, the hosts, always have the advantage because it is their water,” the MOC coach said.
“As for our team, I feel good that our crew have been working hard to get in shape and prepare for the races. We’ve been spending enough time in the water to do well and have good results in the competition. We will do our very best,” Manning added.
Besides MOC’s men’s team, other CNMI representatives to the three-day tournament are Napu Outrigger Canoe Club (youth girls and boys and adult co-ed), Saipan Paddling Club (men’s and women’s and youth co-ed), Marianas Pacific Paddlers (women’s), and Hoe Lokahi (men’s and women’s). Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia are also expected to field teams in this month’s tournament.
Meanwhile, the Northern Marianas National Paddle Sports Federation will hold sprint and long distance races this weekend at Kilili Beach as tune-ups for the Palau-bound teams.