Napu Outrigger Canoe Club will be sending three teams to Guam to compete in the 19th Micronesia Cup that will be held late October.
Napu president Ponce Rasa said Napu will have a men’s team and junior men’s and women’s squads for the Micro Cup which will run from Oct. 26 to 29. The men’s crew will have eight members, while the junior teams (U19 age group) have 10 members each.
“We have over 25 members who are currently on-island. Over half of them are active. We are still going through time trials so hopefully by next week we will have the names of the Napu paddlers. Many of our junior team members have graduated from high school, are attending Northern Marianas College, and have full time jobs now or moved off-island to further their education. The few on-island paddlers have merged with new members of our junior teams,” Rasa said.
The Napu president added that their paddlers usually train three times a week or every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5pm to sundown. Sometimes, Napu members also put an extra training day, as they go to the water on Saturday morning, beginning at 8am. The Napu paddlers work on their proper techniques, strength, conditioning, and cohesion.
The group’s paddlers are training hard for the Micro Cup as they aim to duplicate their feat last year when the tournament was hosted by Palau. Napu’s youth paddlers recorded Top 3 finishes in the junior mix 500m, 1,500m, and long-distance course of the Micro Cup 2016.
“Our goal is to repeat our success in last year’s Micro Cup. Our team brought home the most medals (nine) from Palau. We also want to promote a healthy lifestyle, most especially for our youth, help them learn effective and efficient paddling techniques, and perpetuate the culture of canoe paddling,” Rasa said.
Napu paddlers will compete in the same 500m, 1,500m, and long-distance events. The men’s division long distance course will cover 10 miles, while the juniors will race four miles. The women’s course is eight miles, while the masters and mix are six miles apiece. Races will be held at Matapang Beach.