Bohol Dragon-Boaters Spring Surprises

Hats off to the Boholano teams that competed in the recent 2nd Cobra – PDBF International Club Crew Challenge. You truly did the province proud!

Bohol’s whirlwind romance with Dragon Boating started only late in January when Tapok Tapok Bol-anon sent a veteran internationalist, Annabelle Tario, to Bohol for a one-month teaching stint. Coach Anabs, as she was fondly called, easily developed a great relationship with her students. She had an easy-going, yet stern and professional demeanor that worked well with her eager students. And they learned much from her, even as they panted and grunted and sobbed away the aches and pains of the tough physical training.

And as luck would have it, we were lucky to have two old dragon boats under Mayor Leoncio Evasco of Maribojoc to practice with. These old boats, together with the old paddles, were so much heavier than the new prototypes. This became a boon to our players, who suddenly found the new competition boats and paddles so much lighter. Hence, these trusty dragons actually became great training aids for our paddlers.

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With only three months, plus one local competition tucked under their belts, the Bohol teams faced the challenge head-on. Perhaps it was the innocence of being rookies, perhaps it was the absence of any high expectations; but they didn’t show awe nor felt inferior when they faced the heavyweights in the likes of Lake Buhi, Army, Navy and the Coast Guard. They were like young students, just happy in the thought that there was plenty to learn from the masters. No high expectations there. Just watch and learn, gain experience, ask questions, get more tips, and make the necessary adjustments.

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But lo and behold! As the smoke of the battle cleared, the scrappy Bohol side found themselves competing for medal honors! In a lot of their races, they were found to be competitive until the last 100 or so meters. A pleasant surprise indeed for an appreciative hometown crowd lustily cheering them on. Clearly, given a little more time to hone their stamina, a little more technique in acquiring a fast start, and a little more experience, Bohol’s paddlers can compete with the rest of the pack. All told, the Bohol contingents took a lot of near misses to the Final Four, plus the following Finals finish:

4th place – 500M Open Standard – Bohol Crabhouse

4th place – 200M Open Standard – Bohol Paddlers 1

4th place – 200M Women Small Boat – Bohol Paddlers 2

My salute to our paddlers for a job well done then!! Keep working on it, guys. As the fat guy says: No pain, no gain.

The 2nd Cobra – PDBF International Club Crew Challenge was produced by the Provincial Government of Bohol, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, and Tapok Tapok Bol-anon; with Cobra, Philex, Smart Communications and Cetaphil. Co-producing the event were Lj Lumayag of K & N Productions, Bohol Paddlers Association, and the municipalities of Dauis and Maribojoc, Rotary Tagbilaran, JCI Bohol Kisses and JCI Chocolate Hills.

The major sponsors were: Bluewater Panglao, Bellevue Hotel, First Consolidated Bank, TIEZA, Zoocolate Thrills, and the Department of Tourism (DOT). Other sponsors include: Dep Comm Danny Lim, Oishi, 2Go, Adnama Mining, Hyundai, Danao Adventure Park, Starlite, Eskaya, Ramasola Studios, Truckworld, Lite Shipping, Island Prints and Cong Rene Relampagos.

The media partners include: the Manila Bulletin, Sports Digest, Philippine Star, Business Mirror, TV5, Solar Sports, Sports Unlimited, BCCTV, Bohol Chronicle, DYRD, Xync Magazine and Istorya.net.

The ‘Battle of Champions’ at the 2nd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge in Dauis, Bohol last April 26-30, truly a once-in-a-lifetime treat!

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