The youth paddlers of the Napu Outrigger Canoe Club will be put to a test when they compete in next month’s Micro Cup 2016 in the waters off Meyuns Ramp in Koror, Palau.
Napu Outrigger Canoe Club president Ponce Rasa, in an email to Saipan Tribune last Thursday, said their group will be sending both their girls and boys junior teams for the first time in the Oct. 21 to 23 tournament to see how the club’s young guns will fare against the region’s best. Palau, Guam, and the Federated States of Micronesian are also competing in next month’s event and in the past editions of the Micro Cup, Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong also used to send teams to the canoe race contest.
“We want to send our Napu kids down to Palau to expose them to the region’s best paddlers in the junior division. They will have the opportunity to measure up themselves againts the region’s finest,” said Rasa, who believes all the participating teams have chances to win in the Micro Cup.
“Each club puts in the effort to perform at maximum potential and any club has a chance to win at any given time,” the Napu head added.
The Jason Tarkong-coached Napu junior paddling teams are entered in the 500m, 1,500m, and long distance events and they have been training for several months to prepare for the competition.
“Napu Outrigger Club Junior paddlers practice four times a week or every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. MWF start time is by 430pm, while the adults head in at 5:15pm. Saturday starts time is around 8am and training schedule per day does vary. There are times we may deviate from the norm depending on the weather,” Rasa said.
The club head added that they are still finalizing the rosters for the two teams, but each squad will be composed of seven paddlers. Napu teams are hoping to leave Saipan on Oct. 19 to have time to practice at the venue. They are also doing several fundraisers, including coin drives and cars wash.
“We would like to thank the following individuals and groups for their support and generosity: Ray Yumul, True Value Hardware, Best Sunshine International, Triple B Forwarders, McDonalds of Saipan, Saipan Shipping Company, TSL Foundation, and Pacific Islands Club Saipan,” Rasa said.
Yumul and their family’s company True Value donated cleaning materials that Napu used for its car wash fundraiser last Saturday at the Shell gas station in Susupe, while other donors turned in cash and in-kind donations.