Twelve members of the Saipan Paddling Club left for Palau last Tuesday to represent the CNMI to the 2019 Micronesia Cup that will be held this weekend.
According to SPC president Justin Andrew, the club will have six men and six women paddlers joining the Micro Cup races and they made it to the team after going through months of training sessions and several typhoons.
Justin leads the SPC men’s team, which also has Carter Calma, Benusto Olopai, Glenn Muna, Joshua Andrew, and Vincent Manahane as members. The women’s crew is made up of Sylvia Taggart, Gerlyn Libunao, Elizabeth Tenorio, Lorenza Aldan, Ma. Victoria Saures, and Kalea Andrew.
“It’s ready or not, we are going to do our best. Those storms have had an impact on our training and fundraising efforts, but we are going to do our best to represent and to show full support to Palau as it hosts this annual event here,” Justin said.
The SPC president added that despite uncontrollable setbacks like the weather, they managed to train three times a week—every Tuesdays, Thursdays, and early Saturday mornings.
“We also incorporated some land-based trainings to supplement our canoe time. We are excited and look forward to the races,” he said.
The SPC paddlers will be competing in the 500-meter and 1,500m sprints and long distances races both in the men’s and women’s divisions. Some club members will join the V1 sprints.
The V1 and 500m sprints will be held on Oct. 25, while the Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 races are for 1,500m sprints and long distance, respectively, at the Meyuns Seaplane Ramp in Koror.
The Micro Cup is returning this year after the 2018 event that Saipan was supposed to host was shelved due to Yutu. Saipan was also the designated host of the 2015 races, but they were canceled because of Soudelor. Every year, the hosting rights for the Micro Cup rotate among Palau, Guam, and Saipan. Paddlers from Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan are also competing in this year’s races.