Saipan Paddling Club drew first blood in the All CNMI Juniors Outrigger Regatta 2016 after topping three finale races in last Saturday’s competition held at Kilili Beach.
The club’s junior paddlers won the women’s 500m and 250m final races and ruled the men’s 250m. Napu Outrigger Canoe Club averted SPC’s bid for a sweep of the first of the two-part tournament after prevailing in the 500m event.
The men’s 500m finale was the closest race in the weekend’s contest. Organizers did not list down the official times of each event, so Saipan Tribune did its own timing and had Napu completing the two-lap course in 4:20, just two seconds ahead of SPC. The two rivals along with Grace Christian Academy paddlers were in a tight race at the halfway mark of the course before Napu managed to gain a narrow lead, heading into the last 50m. It was a down-to-the wire finish then with Napu, which was positioned on the right side of the course (facing the beach), holding on to the slim lead against SPC, which was sandwiched by the winning paddlers and GCA. The Eagles timed in at 4:55
The finals win against SPC avenged Napu’s loss to the former in another neck-and-neck preliminary race. SPC clocked in at 4:15 against Napu’s 4:18
In the women’s 500, SPC won both the preliminary and finals with times of 4:40 and 4:46, respectively. Napu submitted 5:23 in the preliminary and improved its time in the finals (5:20:13). The Lady Eagles logged 5:27in the finals—a few seconds faster than their preliminary mark.
In the women’s 250m, there was also a close race between SPC and Napu with the former recording 2:26 in the finals to edge the 2:29 of Napu. GCA posted 2:36. In the men’s 250m, SPC also prevailed, timing in at 2:04 against the 2:07 of Napu and 2:12 of the Eagles.
Meanwhile, the second and last part of the All CNMI Juniors Outrigger Regatta 2016 will take place this Saturday, also at Kilili Beach. CNMI Paddle Sports Association, Napu, SPC, and Hoe Lokahi Outrigger Canoe Club have team up to hold competitions for junior paddlers after the MISO outrigger canoe season for the 2015-2016 school year was canceled.