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Saipan Paddling Club back in action

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SAIPAN Paddling Club members finally got their feet wet again on Thursday after a four-month hiatus in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Club and paddling federation president Justin Andrew thought it was time to get out and get some sun.

“The easing of the health-related directive regarding team sports was the determining factor,” he said. “Additionally, it’s for the sake of our health individually as we all as our club and teams."

Fifteen adults and junior paddlers participated in the SPC return to the lagoon on Thursday.

“It was mainly just to get back into our paddling groove/routine and also to focus more on refining our paddle techniques,” Andrew said.

On Saturday, the crew picked up the pace with a canoe of SPC adults going for a mid-distance run to Garapan and back.

Andrews said the canoes themselves needed a soak.

 

Junior and adult paddlers are ready for the ocean.

 

 

Saipan paddlers in their canoe on Thursday. Contributed photo

“The canoes need to be constantly in the ocean so that they do not quickly deteriorate under the elements (sun and salt spray),” he added.

Before their return to the lagoon, he said SPC members had to stay fit and healthy on land. Individual workouts were focused on running/jogging, biking, home-based workout routines and, occasionally, paddleboards and V1 paddling, he added.

As for  joining competitions any time soon, Andrews said: “The Northern Marianas National Paddle Sports Federation will need to convene and get things back on track…. Other clubs under the federation have also recently returned to paddling so it will be a good time to get something going for our local paddlers.”

He also noted that this year is Guam's turn to host the annual outrigger canoe race, the Micronesia Cup.

“This race is usually held in the last part of October and its hosting is rotated  annually among Guam, the CNMI and Palau,” Andrews said. “We are awaiting word from Guam as to what they plan to do this year. SPC has not made any decisions whether to take part in the Micronesia Cup or not.”

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