Filipinos grab honors in world windsurf tilt

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FILIPINO windsurfer Geylord Coveta wins first place in the men’s class of the prestigious 2012 RS:One World Championships held recently in Boracay. Nenette Aguirre-Graf / CONTRIBUTOR

BORACAY ISLAND—Filipinos grabbed top honors in a world windsurfing competition held last week on Boracay Island, the country’s premier tourist attraction.

Geylord Coveta, 30, of Mabini, Batangas, won first place in the men’s class of the prestigious 2012 RS:One World Championships held on Dec. 10-15. He bested Chang Hao of Taiwan and Yuta Nagano of Japan.

Another member of the Philippine team, Yancy Kaibigan, 17, also from Batangas, placed third in the espoir men’s division, behind Chun Ting Lee and Lok Yiu, both from Hong Kong.

A third Filipino, Rolando Francisco, 59, won the bronze medal in the masters’ class. The event was won by Micah Sambelan (Indonesia), followed by Kazuyoshi Nagashima (Japan).

Spain’s Marina Alabau, gold medalist in the 2012 London Olympics, topped the women’s class, beating Hei Man Chan of Hong Kong and Bryony Shaw of the United Kingdom, a 2009 Olympics bronze medalist.

Winners of the espoir women’s class were Hei Man Chan (Hong Kong), first, followed by Blanca Alabau (Spain) and Kwan Ching Ma (Hong Kong).

Organized by  Philippine Windsurfing Association (PWA), Boracay Windsport Association (BWA) and Neil Pryde Ltd., the event brought together the world’s top windsurfers who vied for the prestigious awards.

Forty-eight windsurfers from 15 countries joined the competition. These included Denmark, France, Britain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Taipei, Turkey, Thailand and the Philippines.

Immanuel Cabili, president of  PWA, said the hosting of the international competition also affirmed Boracay as one of the world’s top destinations for windsurfing and water sports.

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