Navy stamps class in Regatta last leg, wins overall crown
PHILIPPINE Navy capped its campaign in the 2017 CHERIFER Premium-PDBF Dragon Boat Regatta with a bang over the weekend, sweeping all three events of the well-attended fourth and last leg to clinch overall honors in the series held at the Manila Bay overlooking the Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard.
After rallying to edge Triton A in the thrilling 300-meter Women’s Small Boat race, the Navy paddlers settled down to handily rule the Mixed Standard and Men’s Open e Standard vents to wind up its stint on a high note in the circuit sponsored by CHERIFER Premium and organized by the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation.
Under an overcast sky and over calm waters, the Seamen led from start to finish in copping the Men’s Open division championship in one minute and 8.82 seconds over surprise runner-up Rogue Pilipinas (1:11.52) in the regatta also backed by Manila Ocean Park, Fitbar. LeMinerale, Red Bull and BangkaPro, which gave two snorkel masks as raffle prizes.
Bruins finished a fighting third (1:11.94) in the final competition of the CHERIFER Premium-PDBF races, where teams from Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Air Force had to beg off due to military training and their engagement in other pressing activities.
Navy, likewise, topped the Mixed Standard contest (1:12.47), while Rogue Pilipinas (1:14.28) and Triton A (1:15.58) placed second and third, respectively, in the series also supported by the National Parks Development Committee, Manila City government, Nivea Sun, Tent City and Soundfreak.
The Navy bets, however, flirted with disaster in the Women’s Small Boat race, needing a strong finishing kick in the last 75 meters to surge past Triton A in securing first place in 1:24.86 to the latter’s 1:25.07. RCP Sea Dragons A (1:29.19) took third spot.
Navy garnered the open overall championship with 640 points, Bruins (540) took second and Triton A (510) third, while Navy (540), Triton A (460) and RCP Sea Dragons A (410) were 1-2-3 in the Mixed Division, respectively.
The Navy paddlers also took the overall title in the women’s division with 380 points, nosing out Triton A (380) for the plum by securing the last leg, and RCP SEA Dragons was third (300).
“Even without the other three military teams, we can no longer take the private clubs lightly since they have vastly improved,” noted a Navy spokesman following the success of the team. “These clubs are worthy rivals and we had to work hard for these victories.”
“We were really looking forward to the fourth leg of this regatta. This was a milestone because the fourth leg completes the first year for the new board of officers of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation,” PDBF president Doji B. Lopez stressed. “We could not have also done this without the support of our main sponsor CHERIFER Premium.”
“It is something short of a miracle to complete the four legs and the first year relatively unscathed and somewhat successful,” said Lopez, pointing out that the PDBF was also able to organize other competitions in Marikina, Iloilo and Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
“We are proud of the fact that we had an absence of any intrigue and any major problems in our races, and often finished ahead if not on time,” the PDBF president said. “With a lot of hard work, dedication, God’s support and the support of our teams, we were able to weather 2017.”’
Lopez bared that among the PDBF’s plan in 2018 was fielding five local teams from among its member clubs in the International Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew Championships in Hungary in July and more local competitions throughout the year.
“Finally we are working to having an international race in Manila Bay. And God willing, fortunes will favor us and we will be able to get the support that we need (for this event),” he said.