EL NIDO, Palawan -- Despite the absence of 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games silver medalist Christian Tio and former Philippine champion Ken Nacor, the second leg of the International Container Terminal Service, Inc (ICTSI) Philippine Kiteboarding Tour Season 6 is expected to be intense and exciting starting today.
Thirty-five local and foreign kiteboarders, including Swedish ace Atte Kappel and his Filipina wife Jing Gajisan, are taking part in this prestigious competition to be held in Sibaltan.
Kappel, a regular campaigner in the ICTSI circuit and winner of the second leg of the ICTSI Philippine Kiteboarding Tour Season 5 held in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu exactly a year ago, will be the top favorite along with local bets Doque delos Santos, Bong Fernando and MJ Cahilig.
The local and foreign participants will compete for the title and the cash prizes of US$40,000 and US$10,000 worth of equipment from Cabrinha.
Notably absent in the three-day event sponsored by Kite Club Palawan, Pukka Bar, Balay Cuyonon Eco Lodge, Cafe Ranchos, Petal Travel and Tours, Carmelita Homestay, Printhub, Piopio, Dive Sibaltan, Ursula Beach Club, Floresita Beach Resort, Headware and Tribu is Tio.
Tio, who rose to prominence by winning the men’s kiteboarding silver medal in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina last October, made his presence felt by bagging two titles in the first leg held in Bulalacao, Mindoro last Dec.1-3.
Tio won over Remel Rentillo and MJ Cahilig in the final of the men’s Twin Tip course racing.
The 17-year-old Filipino-Norwergian from Boracay, who learned the sport from his parents — both professional kiteboarders — also won over kiteboarding legend Ken Nacor and Cahilig in freestyle.
Sharing the limelight during the first leg in Mindoro was Kathrin Borgwardt of Germany, who topped both the Twin Tip Course Racing and Hangtime.
Kara Leongson finished second, while Jing Gajisan wound up third in Twin Tip Course Racing.
In Hangtime. Ali Dudfield finished second , while Franziska Limmer came in third.
Other winners were Kappel, who won the Master Division Twin Tip Course Racing and Men’s Hangtime; Dudfield, who clinched first place in the Ladies Freestyle against Borgwardt and Limmer; and Joyce Manahan, who ruled the Ladies Novice division .
The event is organized by the Philippine Kiteboarding Association (PKA), headed by President Jay Ortiz and sponsored by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI).
Supervising officials for the event are Mars Gerbach (Competition Director), Andy Curnow (Race Director), Joanne Santos (Tour Organizer), Hendrik Ven de Perre (Head Judge), Ryan Cahilig (Freestyle Judge/ Race Marshal), Reo Mendoza (Rescue Marshal), Jack Agrabio (Event Marshall) and Joe Tindog (Event Runner).
After El Nido, Palawan, the series moves to Lakawon Island for the third leg on Feb.15-17, and Boracay Island for the fourth leg on March 1-3.