MANILA BAY---The Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team captured two championship trophies during the 3rd Leg of the Cobra-PDBF Dragon Boat Regatta held in Manila Bay on October 28, 2012.
It is the third time this year that the Army paddlers dominated the national championships, besting 13 other competing Dragon Boat Teams. It won the first place trophy for both the Men's Open event and the Mixed Event.
Showing its excellent paddling techniques, the Army men clocked 1 min, 12.42 secs to grab the championship trophy. They were followed by Team Buhi ‘Sinarapan’ which clocked 1 min, 16.91secs and Manila Ocean Park Team with 1 min, 19.50secs.
In the final heat that was closely watched by hundreds of spectators, the Buhi-Sinarapan Team led the pack in the final 50 meters of the 300-meter race.
NEAR COLLISSION. Team Buhi-Sinarapan swerves towards the lane of the Army Team, triggering a near collision between the two boat crews during the hotly contested Men's Open events. Team Buhi-Sinarapan was penalized for the infraction, suffering a tragic loss. (Photo by Sgt Jessie Nermal)
Despite crossing the finished line first, the Team Buhi-Sinarapan landed in the second place after being penalized 5 seconds additional time record for crossing towards the lane of the Army Team, in violation to established International Dragon Boat Federation rules.
"It was a very close fight between the Army and Team Buhi-Sinarapan. They committed an error by crossing towards our lane, affecting our own performance because we would also be penalized have we collided with their boat," said Staff Sergeant Usman Anterola, the Boat Captain.
In the Mixed Event (Men & Women paddlers), the Army Team stamped its class by winning the race despite having neophyte women paddlers in their first ever participation in a national championship.
The Army Team for Mixed Event crossed the finish line with a time record of 1 minute, 16.53secs; followed by Onslaught Team with 1 minute 24.86secs and Blue Phoenix Team with 1 min, 28.52secs.
PADDLERS race towards the finish line during the Mixed Events (Men and Women) of the 3rd Dragon Boat Regatta held at Manila Bay on October 28, 2012. The Army Team (right), grabbed the Championship Trophy in its first ever entry in the said category. (Photo by Sgt Jessie Nermal)
Army chief Lt General Emmanuel Bautista has congratulated the soldier-athletes for adding another feather to their caps.
"Your latest accomplishment is a manifestation of the Army's continuous quest for excellence. You have invested so much in your rigorous training and you are now reaping the fruits of your labor. You are indeed the source of the Army's pride," said Bautista in a text message.
With its sterling performance, the Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team is slated to participate in its second international Dragon Boat competition to be held in Penang, Malaysia in December 2012.
The Army paddlers had earlier captured the Championship trophy in all military Dragon Boat race during the Putrajaya International Dragon Boat Festival (PIDBF) held in Indonesia last September 2012.
Seven of the Army paddlers are members of the world famous Pinoy Dragon Warriors, the team which brought home 5 Gold Medals during the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation World Dragon Boat Racing Championships held in Tampa Bay, Florida in August 2011.