WHILE Bakunawa Dragon Boat Team of Iligan City snared its third gold medal, the SAG-1 Dragon Boat Team of Metro Manila captured its second gold as the 34th Kadayawan Dragon Boat Festival 2019 closed at the Sta. Ana Pier Sunday, August 11, 2019.
Bakunawa paddlers, who collected the open standard boat 200-meter and open small boat 200m golds in the opener Saturday, August 10, 2019, ruled the open small boat 300m finals by clocking a total of one minute and 19.39 seconds.
Polillo Dragon Boat Team of Quezon Province timed 1:21.20 to finish second while Manila-based teams Philippine Titans registered 1:22.39 for third and United Paddlers Club-A finished in 1:23.46 to place fourth.
Bakunawa team manager Mites Chua, in a phone interview with SunStar Davao Sunday, said she's glad for the triple gold performance of the team who saw action in the Kadayawan race for the first time.
“This surprises us really,” Chua said, considering that theirs was a lean team of 22 paddlers, helper and drummer.
She also said they didn't have reserve paddlers. Some of those who competed in standard (22-seater) boat also played in the small (12-seaer) boat.
She added that Mindanao teams just like them need more exposures to improve and she was thankful for the opportunity to compete here for the “high level” races.
“Davao has strong teams as well as other Mindanao teams pero kulang talaga sa funding at sa karera. There are no enough races for them. While Manila has regattas, sa Mindanao iilan lang ang nakakapag-compete,” she added.
At times, they sell shirts or ask assistance from the City Government of Iligan but most of the time paddlers themselves fund their participation.
SAG-1 bagged the mixed small boat 300m gold after copping the women small boat gold in the first day. SAG-1 sped past Boracay Dragonforce (1:25.91), Braveheart (1:26.43) and UPC (1:27.30).
In other events, Philippine Titans checked in at 1:16.56 to claim the mixed standard 300m gold over SAG-1 (1:18.96), Braveheart of Cagayan de Oro City (1:20.40) and Samal Dragons (1:23.06) while Bugsay Marajao of Surigao City (1:15.50) clinched the open standard boat 300m gold while Dragon Warriors Davao (1:18.28) settled for silver and Dragons del Sur of Davao City (1:19.28) got the bronze.
Kujaw Tiger Dragons of Cortes, Surigao del Sur, meanwhile, topped the women small boat 300m over Dragons del Sur, SAG-1 and UPC.