SOME of the best paddlers in the Visayas and Mindanao fight for dragonboat glory in the fourth edition of “Dragons in Argao” on Sept. 23 in the waters of Maayo Stay Argao.
A total of 12 dragon boat clubs are competing in three divisions—Open, Women’s and Mixed—in the one-day tournament that kicks off Argao’s annual fiesta.
“This is a much-awaited race for the Visayas and Mindanao teams. Races are hard to come by. There at least three to four races here in Cebu,” Dragon Boat Cebu Central’s Randy Su, one of the organizers, said in a press conference at the Maayo Hotel.
Back to defend their Open division crown are Bohol’s Dauis Wild Dragons, while another visiting team that is one of the favorites are the Surigao del Sur’s Kudjao Tigers.
“I think one of the favorites is the team from Surigao, maybe Pads and the team from Dauis,” said Su.
The other dragon boat teams that are competing are Pads, Pink Paddlers, Sugbu Mighty, Black Manta Warriors, BakuNaga, Habagat, Cebu Fire Blade, Cebu Poseidon, Dumaguete’s Umagu and Bohol’s BPA.
This year’s event will have the women’s division for the first time.
“There are a lot of women’s teams and that’s why we decided to include the women’s category,” said Su. “The women are gaining ground. The Pink Paddlers are actually making waves in international competitions.”
The sport of dragonboat is getting more popular. In the first “Dragons of Argao” tournament, it was just an exhibition but in the last two editions, the number of participants increased.
“The development of dragonboat is very fast. There has been a phenomenal growth in the sport since it started in Cebu last year,” said Su. EKA