Fernando, Tio lead strong local showing
Boracay’s Bong Fernando charged back to topple 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, ran 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.
Returning Dutch star Mariska Wildenberg clinched the women’s Freestyle crown, edging New Caledonia’s Laetitia Paolilo and German Franszika Limmer. Other TTR slalom race winners were Duque delos Santos of Team ICTSI (men’s) and Wildenberg (women’s).
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