Boracay’s Bong Fernando charged back to stun fancied Atte Kappel of Sweden and snare the men’s Masters class crown while homegrown star Christian Tio took the Freestyle title in the fifth ICTSI Philippine Kiteboarding Tour in Lakawon island off the coast of Cadiz Viejo, Negros Occidental recently.
Fernando trailed Kappel, a Flysurfer team rider currently ranked among the top Twin Tip Racing riders in the world, in the first day but struck back in the next to draw level then dominated the final round to rule the centerpiece event in the Twin-Tip Slalom Cross Racing. Jay Ortiz, president of the organizing Philippine Kiteboarding Association and Cabrinha rider, placed third.
Tio, priming up for next year’s men’s Elite League, flaunted his world-class skills to run away with the men’s plum. Rookie PKA entry Abdul Maotaouakil of Morocco broke his kite in the semifinals but went on to finish second to Tio while local bet Dong Manuel finished third in the three-day event which drew the participation of top local and international riders.
Returning Dutch star Mariska Wildenberg bagged the women’s Freestyle crown, edging New Caledonia’s Laetitia Paolilo and regular campaigner Franszika Limmer of Germany.
Other TTR Slalom race winners were Duque delos Santos of Team ICTSI (men’s), edging Julius Non of Caliraya and Team DSD’s MJ Cahilig; and Wildenberg (women’s), nipping JingJing Gajisan and Kara Leongson.
Meanwhile, Kappel atoned for his TTR Cross Racing loss with a victory in the Cabrinha Hangtime Challenge, dazzling the field and the crowd by floating more than five seconds. Leongson took the women’s Hangtime title with a three-second feat.
Jack Alvarez, on the other hand, took the men’s Novice title, edging fellow NCR bets Luigi Abiva and Tony Baysa in the event which also featured the TTR Youth Group held as part of the country’s buildup for the Youth Olympic Games. Boracay’s Remel Rentillo topped event with Frean Yetyet and Mark Magliquian taking the next two spots.
The PKA is currently training these youngsters for spots in the Asian Qualifiers for the YOG set in March in Thailand.
Meanwhile, Cebu will host the second of the four-leg tour sponsored by ICTSI on Jan. 5-7 in Bantayan Island while Boracay will stage the next stop on Feb. 9-11 before the circuit winds up on March 2-4 in Cagbalete Island, Quezon.