Del Rosario just misses King's Cup Open Title
2004 Dec 20, Philippine Daily Inquirer
Paul del Rosario, the country's ace jet ski rider, proved he's one of the nest in Asia by salvaging overall runner-up honors in the World Watercross King's Cup Thailand Open 2004 at the Korat Airforce Base here recently.
Although his jet ski was unfit for the small tight closed course track, the two-time RP national champion ruled the final race to clinch second place in the 13-man field of the premiere Professional 1200 cc class that included Australian champions Anthony Antees and James Masterton.
"It was one tough event and I'm proud to bring home the runner-up trophy for the country," said Del Rosario, who's backed up by Petron Corp., Manila Cordage Corp., Networx Jetsports, Stoked Inc. and D7 Media Vision.
Del Rosario, who had just recovered from dengue fever and still experienced asthma attacks when he came here, competed on a 2004 Yamaha boat which Americans Mark Dobson and david Harvey rushed to build and tested for only two weeks.
With the tight course, it was no match for the powerful Seadoo RXP and XPL of the Thais, but Del Rosario proved his mettle nevertheless in his Pro class debut.
Former world champion and top Thai rider Chokuthit Molee of Thailand's Team Flamingo won the event and bagged the prestigious King's Cup - a 20-lb two-feet tall gold-plated trpophy carried by Thailand'd national guards and place dnext to the portrait of their king.
He finished the four-race event with 198 points, just one point over el Rosariio, Ekchon Kingchansil of Thailand's N. Max-Maxima Team Paw took third place honors.
Del Rosario's feat made up for his disappointment at the World Jet Ski Championship in Lake Havasu, Arizona, in October where he was "allegedly" denied of the crown.
"A Philippine Show of Force" was how King's Cup race director Justine Lee described the performance of Del Rosario, who was accompanied in Thailand by RP-Networx team manager Dong Arcilla, mechanics Yannick Elnar, Edwin Copino, brother Robert Raymond del Rosario and dad Bobby del Rosario.
Molee was ahead in the title race after three moto races, but Del Rosario, knowing he could still wrest the crown, quickly grabbed the pole leaving the Thai world champ's Seadoo XPL far behind in the fifth.
Kingchansil caught up with him in the last five laps but Del Rosario took the checkered flag just two feet ahead of Kingchansil at the finish.
Molee, who had accumulated enough points in the first three races, had to finish third in the final race to emerge the overall champion.