A couple of years ago, there used to be a single authority which ruled the country’s dragon boat kingdom. It would create tournaments and competition schedules which would then be able to produce champions recognized nationally.
Today, there are two sanctioning bodies administering to the affairs of local dragon boating. And the identification of a true champion has become unclear. The division between the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) and the Philippine Canoe and Kayak Federation (PCKF) have clearly put a damper on the growth of the local dragon boat community. All these, to the detriment of the athletes and the sport.
However, there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel. For a fleeting weekend in the waters of Dauis in Bohol, we set aside the conflict and let our paddles do the talking. Getting ready to duke it out in Bohol are the country’s certified dragonista heavyweights.
The entry of the Philippine Navy has made the Bohol event a truly star-studded affair. Navy has long dominated the PCKF league, with a string of 12 consecutive championship trophies. It has never been challenged seriously. The Sailors will contend in all three categories (open, women’s, mixed), and in all the different distances.
Lake Buhi is the present toast of the PDBF open division. Lake Buhi showed no respect in drubbing a veteran Army Team not once, but twice, in Zambales last week. And they are eager to face the Navy to prove who really should wear the crown as kings of the open division.
Army is still a dangerous contender in the open division. Inspite of that heartbreaker against Lake Buhi, the Army Troopers has the international experience and the organization to make things happen. Expect the Army to crowd arch-rivals Navy and Lake Buhi for the open crown.
Triton has been the perrenial champs in the women’s division. They have also been contending against the Coastguard in the mixed division. The steady Coastguard Dragonistas are also expected to perform well in the women’s and mixed divisions. They will provide the PDBF challenge to the PCKF’s Navy titleholders.
This weekend, expect dragon boat aficionados to troop to Bohol. Bohol will briefly be the dragon boat Mecca of the Philippines. It’s the Battle of the Champions, ladies and gents! The best of the best. No quarters asked, no quarters taken. And while no official crown is at stake, the winners will no doubt earn the right to be called the new People’s Champs of Dragon Boating.
The 2nd Cobra – PDBF International Club Crew Challenge is produced by the Provincial Government of Bohol, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, and Tapok Tapok Bol-anon; with Cobra, Philex, Smart Philippines and Cetaphil. Co-producing the event are Lj Lumayag of K & N Productions, Bohol Paddlers Association, Tagbilaran City, and the municipalities of Dauis and Maribojoc, Rotary Tagbilaran and JCI Bohol.
The major sponsors are: Bluewater Panglao, Bellevue Hotel, First Consolidated Bank, TIEZA, and Zoocolate Thrills. Other sponsors include: DOT, Oishi, 2Go, Adnama Mining, Danao Adventure Park, Hyundai, Starlite, Eskaya, Ramasola Studios, Truckworld, Lite Shipping, Island Prints and Cong Rene Relampagos.
The media partners include: the Manila Bulletin,MB Sports Digest, Philippine Star, Business Mirror, TV5, Solar Sports, Sports Unlimited, BCCTV, Bohol Chronicle, DYRD, Xync Mag and Istorya.net.
Watch out for the ‘Battle of Champions’ at the 2nd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge in Dauis, Bohol this April 26-30.