500 expected in Dragon Boat Festival

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014


SOME 500 paddlers will see action as the 1st Davao Dragon Boat Festival gets underway on May 1 to 4 at the Baywalk Times Beach.

A total of 10 teams will compete in the open standard boat, mixed standard and women’s small boat categories.

The open standard boat category will be composed of 22 crew members per team (20 paddlers, one drummer and one steer man) to battle in the 2,000 meters (long distance), 400 m (medium distance) and 200 m (sprint).

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The mixed standard has 22 crew members with a minimum of eight female paddlers while a 12-man team for the women’s small boat will race in 400m and 200m.

Ronnel Abrenica of the Sports Development Division of the City Mayor’s Office (SDD-CMO), in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said that the event in cooperation with the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) aims to put Davao City in the map of dragon boating.

“This event will create awareness among the Dabawenyos and the rest of the world that Davao City is a good venue for dragon boating. Our clean waterways are suitable for the competition. This is a big help to boost the tourism industry of the city and Mindanao,” he said.

He also said that an open dragon boat clinic is set on May 4 at the Baywalk to teach the basics of the sport and at the same time provide information unto the public about the safety rules of paddling.

“We are in partnership with the PDBF and they will officiate both the competition and the clinic,” he said.

The Philippine Air Force team arrived last Monday via C-130.

“Some 48 crew members of the Philippine Air Force came in the city to prepare for the competition. Davao City’s Mumar Alamara of PAF is one of their members. The Camarines Sur team, composed of fishermen, will also join the race,” he said.

Cash prizes, medals and trophies will be awarded to the winning teams through SDD-CMO.

Zumba party, speed climbing and other fun activities will also take place in the festival.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 23, 2014.

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