Dagupan boy to compete in world’s wind surfing event

DAGUPAN CITY — A 14-year old boy, whose mother is from Dagupan, will be among the five Filipinos chosen to represent the country in the World Wind Surfing Competition in Vietnam from June 10 to 14.

He is Joaquin Manuel Reyna Gimenez, a Grade 9 student of the Tomas Escola in Pasig City Metro Manila, whose mother Cecilia, a lawyer, is the daughter of former City Councilor Liberato Reyna Jr. son and namesake,of the late Dagupan City mayor Liberato Reyna Sr.

Gimenez said of the five members of the Philippine team, three would compete in the senior division and two others in the junior division in the World Wind Surfing Tournament to be participated in by among the bests in this sports worldwide.

The boy said he discovered wind surfing by accident three years ago when he and parents were vacationing at Anilao Beach in Batangas and was asked to try wind surfing.

He found wind surfing a lot of fun and began frequenting Anilao beach for this kind of sports.

Wind surfing is not an easy sports because a racer has to balance his wight with the wind and must be able to find where the wind is blowing, he said.

Gimenez said since the gears for this kind of sports, like a sail, a boom and a bar surrounding the sail and to which the board is attached, may not be affordable by all.

But he was glad to hear from Dagupan Mayor Belen Fernandez that the city would soon acquire equipment that could be used by local youth who might also go into wind surfing.

Surfing is ideal at Tondaligan Blue breach in Dagupan because it is clean, in fact cleaner than many beaches in other places, he said. Besides this, there is a big crowd at Tondaligan Blue beach watching even if its off-season for the sports, he added.

Wind surfing is best during the north east monsoon or “amihan” and it is in its off-season when there is heavy rainfall or when the wind is blowing from east to west or”habagat”.

Gimenez was part of the Philippine Wind Surfing Team that came to Dagupan to hold a first of its kind wind surfing clinic to the youth of the city last May 28-29 upon the invitation of Mayor Fernandez,

It was an opportunity too for members of the Philippine team to continue their training as part of their preparations for the coming world tournament.

Gimenez was invited to join the Philippine Wind Surfing Association’s national team after winning in a local tournament last year and placing second in another national competition.

He admitted he never earned a medal when he competed in Thailand and Hong Kong in his first two international competitions.

Gimenez said as a wind surfer, he too is into swimming andmust at all times alert, strong and agile. lvmicua/PNA-northboundasia.com