KUCHING SARAWAK, MALAYSIA — Boracay-based dragon boat teams recently made waves at the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta 2017, bagging a pair of gold medals and a silver medal in different categories they participated in.
The Boracay Dragonflies (women’s division) and Boracay Dragonforce (men’s division), competing in only their second international race, ruled the 400-meter event International 12 crew Ladies boat competition as well as the 400-meter event International mix team.
They also bagged a silver in the 400-meter Masters.
In winning the International 12 crew Ladies boat competition, the Boracay Dragonflies clocked in 2.04 seconds.
Winning two golds and one silver out of five categories in the competition held from Nov. 10 to 12 at the Kuching Waterfront in Sarawak, team officials viewed it as a great achievement for the team’s 2nd international race participation.
“The Philippine team had overcome its competition, consistently ahead of the teams from Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Brunei, Thailand and India by over a boat in every heat,” Team Coach Von Navarosa said in an e-mail from Sarawak.
The Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta was also held in conjunction with the official opening of The Golden Bridge, in Sungai Sarawak, an important event in the tourism calendar of countries involved in dragon boat races around the world.
Remy Aquino-Nation, team vice-president, said the Philippine contingent had been considered a potential champion before in view of its achievement during the 2017 Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival where it won numerous gold medals.
She hoped the team could continue to be groomed with the help of the government so that it can continue with its achievements competing and winning races internationally. Making every Filipino proud!
Often overlooked by the media, Boracay Dragonforce and the Boracay Dragonflies have earned the reputation on local races as a team to be reckoned. With overall impressive awards within four years — 18 gold awards, 10 silver awards, and five bronze awards to date. Their competitive reputation is now being recognized around Asia making them well celebrated in the last Dragon Boat Festival in Indonesia and Malaysia.
The biggest challenge that the team faced during the race was the new terrain and the difficult draw lanes. The water condition of the river is very different compared to the salt water that the Islanders train in Boracay. The Team had to adjust and come up with a different strategy to create a game plan that works with paddling against the river current, according to the Team Manager/Coach Thomas Müeller.
For now, the team is celebrating the end of the Dragon Boat Festival in Malaysia at Grand Margherita Hotel, with city tour generously provided by the Malaysian government.
They will return to the Philippines (Kalibo) today where a congratulatory ceremony awaits them.