PADDLES will be up in Cebu as 40 foreign and local club crews are expected to converge for the Cebu Dragonboat Fiesta 2017, which is slated on April 28 to 30 at the Cebu Yacht Club.

The dragonboat competition is dubbed as the biggest in Cebu with foreign crews from USA, Guam, Hong Kong, Korea, Italy, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei.

“We hope for the support of the Cebuano community on this event. Cebu has a good position to become a dragonboat hub in the country. We have the seas, hotels and the airport to host a big event,” said retired general Charlie Holganza during a press conference and event launching at the Provincial Capitol yesterday.

The dragonboat competition for club crews will feature all women’s, all men’s, mixed crew and masters mixed crew categories.

“There are 33 teams who have already showed intent to join. These are foreign club crews and local teams from Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon. There are teams that still inquiring, so we’re looking to get around 40 teams on race day,” said one of the organizers and coach of Gruppo Habagat Team Nonnie Lopez.

The organizers said that the event has a long-term plan and they are planning to stage it annually with the long-term goal to hopefully host the 2019 Dragonboat World Championships.

“We’re going to give the visiting paddlers a quality race so we can establish this event not just locally but also international and the participants will be coming back for this race” said Lopez.