By JED RESTON
TANGO, Glan, Sarangani – Tankers from Davao City once again clinched the top spot in this year’s Sarangani Bay Festival’s Swim-Across-the-Bay held at Sarangani Province, Thursday, May 30th.
The team from Davao Merchant Marine Academy College of Southern Philippines (DMMACSP) bagged the gold for the second time in a row after a very exciting run of 3 hours, 12 minutes and 19 seconds which was made more exciting by bad weather, strong tides, and low visibility.
“Ang daming unpredictable situations. Ang lakas ng current, ang laki ng waves, ang kati ng dagat, biglang umulan, nawala yung target namin,” DMMACSP coach Vasit Venturillo said when asked about this year’s Swim-Across-the-Bay experience.
Despite being carried two kilometers off target by strong winds and high tides, Venturillo’s team sprinted the last two kilometers towards the finish line.
Contest rules state that swimmers who do not land on the proper venue, must sprint/run towards the finish line.
Team DMMACSP is just one of the ten teams to have successfully made the 15-kilometer long swim successfully conquering the mighty and deep Sarangani Bay. They are a group of college swimmers who participate in triathlons and swimming events.
“Those competitions na sinalihan namin, ito yung pinakanag-enjoy kami,” coach Venturillo added.
This is the 4th time that team DMMACSP joined the SarBay Festival Swim-Across-the-Bay. They made great showings in the past placing first runner up twice and now as back-to-back champs.
A team from Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) also took home the second place with a time of 3 hours, 15 minutes, and 33 seconds after placing at the tail end of the rankings last year. Their team was mostly made up of members of the Alsons Security (AlSec) and an officer from the Philippine National Police (PNP).
This year, also saw the debut of Kleone M. Mole, 10, from Cagayan de Oro City and swimming for the Dadiangas Torpedoes B. She is the youngest swimmer this year.
Last year’s youngest swimmer was Dionela Cubita, 9 years old.
The Swim-Across-the-Bay champion took home P50,000, medals and a team plaque. The second place took home P35,000, medals, and a plaque, while the third place got P25,000, medals, and a plaque.
All other finishers took home P10,000. Just like last year the swimmers took off from Sarangani Energy Corporations’ jetty at Barangay Kamanga in Maasim town, before traversing Sarangani Bay and reaching their landing spot at Tango in Glan.
(Jed Reston for Sarbay Docu Team/SARANGANI COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE)