PUERTO PRINCESA City , Philippines – The Philippine Marine Corps came armed and ready yesterday, going undefeated in three races in the first Puerto Princesa Canoe Kayak and Dragonboat Championships here.
The Marines opened up with a victory in the women’s 10-seater then swept the opposition in the mixed 20-seater and the men’s 20-seater. All races covered the distance of 300 meters.
A big crowd gathered along the breakwater of the Baywalk strip to watch the competition that was put up by Mayor Lucilo Bayron and supervised by the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation (PCKF) led by Jonne Go.
The Marines showed what great teamwork is all about and were amply rewarded. They whooped it up during the awarding ceremony, drawing cheers even from their competitors.
In the women’s 10-seater, the Marines won with a time of 1:28:18 followed by Navy at 1:28:50, Boracay All-Stars at 1:30:45 and Pyros at 1:41:24.
In the mixed event, they had a clocking of 1:21:84 to tow PDRT at 1:22:29, Boracay All-Stars at 1:22:66 and Navy at 1:23:01.
Then Marines saved their best for last.
The men’s race, the final race of the day, turned out to be a battle for second when the Marines pulled away in the first 100 meters to win in 1:11:82.
The Marines were already raising their paddles in victory by the time Boracay All-Stars checked in nearly two boats behind at 1:18:29, followed by Navy at 1:19:11 and PDRT at 1:21:24.
Organizers of the event, including Karl Bayron, the executive assistant to the mayor, put up handsome cash prizes to the winner.
But the Marines, "The Few and The Proud," said they did not compete for the money. Even before the races, they’ve decided to give their winnings to charity.
Navy topped the doubles race with a time of 1:54:93, towing Boracay All-Stars (2:03:09) and Pyros (2:04:07) to the finish. Navy also ruled the triyak race in 2:05:74, followed by Katabom at 2:14:51 and Pyros at 2:26:10.
In canoe single, Danny Funelas won in 2:33:08. Second was Jonathan Ruiz at 2:35:46, third Jairus Molina at 2:44:19 and fourth John Paul Selencio at 2:58:99. In kayak single, Alex Generalo triumphed in 2:27:73, beating Alvin Generalo’s 2:28:37, Edward Galang’s 2:42:24 and Daniel Ortega’s 2:43:08.
Overall, a total of 14 teams made up of more than 300 paddlers saw action in the first canoe kayak and dragonboat competition hosted by the city.
The other teams that came to compete were Honda Bay, Naraga, Manila Dragons, John B. Lacson from Iloilo, Manila Blazing Paddles, Raha of Palawan, Philippine Titans, Dela Salle Taft and Iwahig.
The mayor was elated by the day's outcome and thanked all the teams that competed.
"More teams made the races more exciting. Rest assured,this will not be the first and the last," he said.