DUMAGUETE CITY – A group of fishermen emerged as the surprise winners in the annual 2017 Dragon Boat Challenge after dominating four of the six categories at the picturesque Rizal Boulevard on Saturday.
The Calindagan Yellowfins, composed of fishermen working at the seas off Dumaguete City, won the 300m Open Small Boat with a time of 1:27:47 and the 300m Mixed Standard with a time of 1:25:49.
Calindagan also took home the top honors in the 300m Open Standard (1:20:79) and the 300m Inter-barangay (1:34:16) in the event organized by the Dumaguete City Government, through the City Tourism Office.
The annual Dragon Boat Challenge coincided with the Little League Baseball-Softball competition and the Philippine Archery Cup-Visayas Leg which were also hosted by the city.
Meanwhile, the Luzon-based Taytay Girls ruled the 300m Small Boat and the 300m Mixed Small Boat with times of 1:37:38 and 1:34:23, respectively.
A total of 12 teams from Manila, Boracay and nearby provinces competed in the event which was staged to promote Dumaguete as one of the country’s premier sports tourism sites. Some of the participants also belonged to homegrown teams.
“We are giving sports a great emphasis because it is a great equalizer. This weekend we are hosting dragon boat, Little League baseball and softball and the Philippine Archery Cup,” said Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo.
“We want to show that Dumaguete is an ideal sport for sporting event because it’s a nice environment, safe place for athletes, tourists and guests.”
The Dragon Boat Challenge, was sanctioned by the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation Inc., which accredited by the Philippine Olympic Committee and recognized by the Philippine Sports Commission, as the governing organization for all paddling sports in the Philippines.
“Our main objective in coming here is to scout new paddlers from the provinces,” said national coach Len Escollante.
“This is why we extend every help that we can because we believe na nasa probinsya ang mga potential world-class athletes natin.”
The PCKDFI also conducted a dragon boat sports clinic that taught nearly 200 athletes paddling basics and the principles and techniques of dragonboat racing. Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News
Dumaguete City has already hosted four dragon boat races since 2014 but this year, the city wanted to make a strong push to build a strong reputation as a sports tourism destination of choice of enthusiasts seeking more interesting venues for their races, according to City Tourism officers Jacqueline Veloso-Antonio and Katherine Aguilar.
The event was supported by the Dumaguete Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Promotion Board, Tubig Pilipinas, Pau D’ Arco, Double Dragon Promotion and the Department of Tourism.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.