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Dalanon’s star rises in 12th Punta Fuego Regatta
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - January 27, 2014 - 5:47pm

MANILA, Philippines – Last year, he sacrificed losing the ultimate prize but won the hearts of many. This year, there was no denying that he would finally get what is rightfully his.

Janno Dalanon more than made up for the lost opportunity last year as he ruled the Optimist Class for the first time in the 12th Punta Fuego Regatta during the weekend at the Punta Fuego Yacht Club.

The 14-year-old member of the Philippine Sailing team finished only at sixth place last year when he opted to save Rex Puentespina, an older sailor competing in the Hobie 16 Class during the competition.  His gesture won him the adulation of the crowd and the Principal Race Officer award.

"Masaya ako na finally nanalo rin ako," said the young sailor, who is a two-time bridesmaid finisher in the 12-year old annual competition before finally getting the elusive crown this year.

"That was sailing all about. You enjoy it, you get better and better. You come from the back and you end up in front," said Principar Race Officer Jerry Rollin of Dalanon's rise from last year's setback.

The young sailor, who is a son of a tailor in Paranaque City, started in the sport when he was around eight to nine years old upon the influence of his uncle, who drives a yacht as a job.

"May potential talaga ang batang yan. Ang problema nga lang ay 'yung exposure kasi minsan lang sila nakakalabas para mag-compete sa ibang bansa," Dalanon's coach Carmelo Apdo told Philstar.com.

Dalanon made his first sailing abroad when he placed 12th out of 65 participants in the Hong Kong Optimist National Championship last December.

"Actually, si Dalanon umangat na sa Class A yan. Kung may mga laban sa ibang bansa, priority na yang batang yan. Hinog na siya sa sailing," said Dalanon's proud coach.

"Yung laro niya kahapon (Saturday) ang ganda, all the way siya ang leading. Kanina (Sunday morning), medyo nahirapan siya dahil sa shifting ng hangin but still maganda pa rin kinalabasan ng laro niya," Apdo, the national Optimist Class head coach, added.

Morris Lan Madlos and John Danhiel Parales ended up second and third, respectively, in the Optimist Class.

In the Hobie Getaway Class, Philip Hagedorn took the crown followed by Martin Marty and Bruni Vergues. In the Cruising Class, last year's champion Harry Taylor's Irresistible was dethroned after two days of races with Centennial II of Martin Tan emerging as the new champion followed by Selma Star of Jun Avecilla and Freewheeler of David Wheeler.

In the Cruising-Catamaran Class, Double Trouble of Robin Wyatt ruled the event with Tiamat of Jeff Williams and Meemee of Tony Ang finishing second and third, respectively. Ruling the Hobie 16 was Ridgely Balladares followed by Emerson Villena and Peter Capotosto; Laser Class Rubin Cruz Jr. followed by Roel Batlagan and Alaiza Mae Belmonte.

Meanwhile, Martin Tan of Centeniall II (Cruising) and Ridgely Balladares (Hobie) took home the Line of Honor (Terrazas to Fortune Island route) in the two-day race set at the picturesque Peninsula de Punta Fuego in Nasugbu, Batangas and sponsored by Fuego, Landco Pacific Corporation, Olukai, Birkenstock, Dermplus, Very Old Captain Artisan (crafted dark rum), Pepsi, Gatorade, San Miguel Beer and Wine Depot.

"We had more people, more boat, more classes and it was the best supported Regatta event we've had in the last 12 years which is good," Rollin said.

CARMELO APDO CLASS A DALANON DOUBLE TROUBLE OF ROBIN WYATT EMERSON VILLENA AND PETER CAPOTOSTO FORTUNE ISLAND OPTIMIST CLASS RIDGELY BALLADARES YEAR
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