A 16 year old from Kairuku in the Central Province has helped his team win the hobie division in the annual 3 Peaks race in Port Moresby. He is Imana Kone, a first time sailor at the Royal Papua Yacht Club .
Kone was crew for skipper and team mate Melona Mula who sailed in Hobie 41.
The 3 Peaks event for the Hobie cats started outside the old Fairfax harbour in Port Moresby, before a left turn to Manubada Island, offshore Era Kone (Ela Beach). On route to Manuabada, 41 was fairing in 3rd place behind a much experience batch of sailors.
At Manubada, the steep climb uphill saw at least four runners from competing racers side by side, on shore it was a colourful display as the sleepy shores of the island front became a hub of competition.
At least an hour gone, the first hobie cats had left Manubada, and set course to Lolorua, for the next peak.
Lolorua, an island that is a no man’s paradise, set in precinct waters and decorated by the ship wrecks that now form its beauty.
In the lead, were last year’s winners in Hull number 22 – Skipper Kevau Arua and crew David John, they were the first to touch land, run up the hill and turn back to continue their quest. It was again neck and neck from the youngsters.
But the last leg was the decisive one, a steady turn into the Royal Papua Yacht Club from the harbour proved costly for the defending champions.
The wildcard – 41, came in smoothly, before sending the Imana Kone onto the Poreporena Freeway, the climb this time was to the top of Ben’s peak and Kone did it in splendid fashion, clocking a total time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds.
Kone is part of a new batch of sailors that were trained this year by the Royal Papua Yacht Club (RPYC). This came after a training session with PNG sailing legend, Upu Kila Senior (MBE).
“This is my first time to take part in the 3 peaks,” said the 16 year old.
“My parents told me to go out and win the race,” he added with tears in his eyes.
Imana Kone’s neighbours commented he woke up as early as 5am on Saturday for the event that would later start at 10am.
RPYC General Manager, Aaron Batts was happy with the new sailor.
“We are happy with what these new boys coming through can do after a short program we put together with the help of Steamships (Group) and Upu (Kila Senior),” he said.
“Our target is the family market and it’s already showing results,” Batts said.
By Bradley Valenaki – EMTV Sports, Port Moresby