NEWLY crowned Asian tour freestyle champion Dylan Van der Meij headlines the elite field vying for top honors in the first ICTSI Philippine Kiteboarding Tour final leg on Friday at the Emerald Playa beach in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
The 19-year-old Van der Meij is expected to flaunt his kiteboarding skills and vast repertoire of stomped tricks he showed in ruling the Kiteboard Tour Asia freestyle event in Boracay recently in the three-day event sponsored by International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
The event, capping the inaugural four-leg circuit that drew some of the top kiteboarders here and abroad, will also feature Asian freestyle men and women champions Reynard Gajisan and Paula Rosales.
Ukrainian champion Andrey Salnik, who topped the tour’s kickoff leg in Boracay last January, has also confirmed his participation, looking to crowd Van der Meij and Gajisan in the centerpiece men’s Freestyle.
PKA president Jay Ortiz said other tour campaigners from Manila, Puerto Galera, Caliraya, Boracay and Davao will also be competing in the event backed by Boracay Greenyard, the official distributor of Cabrinha equipment, Stoked, Dakine, Aloha Boardsports, and supported by Tanduay Ice, Colt 45 and Summit Water.
Others seeing action in the event, supported by local sponsors Printhub, Kuyba Almoneca, Hotel Centro, Blue Palawan, Inc., Fluidsurf and the Puerto Princesa city government, are kiteboarders from Australia, Switzerland, Estonia, Sweden, Russia, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Germany and Norway.
Ortiz is also expected to seek for a third straight victory in the Twin Tip Race Masters Category, which he ruled in the Ilocus Sur and Laguna legs of the tour.
Events on tap are three kiteboarding disciplines of Freestyle men and women (tricks and turns), Twin-tip Racing men, women and masters class and the Cabrinha Hangtime Challenge men and women (Highest and longest jumps).
Tour sponsor Cabrinha, meanwhile, will raffle off a complete kite set worth US$2,000 to participants. For information on the tour, go to the Facebook page Philippinekiteboardingassociation or email firstname.lastname@example.org.