Irresistible big Punta Fuego Regatta winnerBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NASUGBU, Batangas—Irresistible, steered by veteran sailor Harry Taylor, topped the Cruising Division for keelboats to lead the winners of the 11th Punta Fuego Regatta here over the weekend.
With a crew composed of Allan Lundy, Josie Brizuela, Dennis Araojo and Ronald Tiangzon, Irresistible harnessed the strong northwinds well enough to beat Freewheeler of David Wheeler and Strawberry Hill of Santi Picornell.
Skipper Ridgely Balladares and crew Richly Magsanay prevailed in the Hobie 16 race, Fernan Sarmiento ruled the Optimist, and Tommy Lim dominated the Hobie Bravo class of the event managed by Jerry Rollins as race committee chair.
Sharing the limelight was 13-year-old Janno Dalanon, who was cited for an act of bravery when he abandoned the race to come to the rescue of Rex Puentespina, whose Hobie 15 capsized in the choppy waters.
“The first rule of the book is to save a fellow sailor,” said Puentespina, who is also a director of the Philippine Inter Island Sailing Federation. “This boy saved my life.”
Dalanon, competing in the Optimist class (dinghy) for beginners, also came to the aid of the distressed sailor. The two then shared Dalanon’s boat which also caught water later, forcing them to bail out just as the rescue boat arrived.
Because of the gesture, Dalanon, who was running seventh at the time of the accident, was given a special award during the closing ceremony.
“I felt better after helping somebody,” said Dalanon, who is a Philippine training pool member in the Optimist.
Placing second in the Hobie 16 race around the Fortune Islands were Joel Mejarito (skipper) and John Albert Escalante (crew), with Mike Ngu (skipper) and Lando Pahayhay (crew) third.
Edgar Villapana took second in the Optimist over Froilan Boyano while Martin Marty and Noel Lim came in second and third, respectively, in the Hobie Bravo class.
“We used to hold the races in October and November but we found out the winds are good in January,” said Rollins, who noted the big number of participants including international sailors who compete all around the country.
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