Got invited to a wonderful whirlwind tour to Macau and Hongkong last week. To observe and enjoy the Macau International Dragon Boat Races 2016 and the Hongkong Dragon Boat Festival 2016.
The finale for the Macau race was held last June 9 at the Nam Van Lake Nautical Center. Organized jointly by the Dragon Boat Association of Macau and the Sports Bureau of Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR), the event has grown into a prestigious annual activity that regularly features the best dragon boat teams from China, Hongkong, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, the US and even far-away Europe.
The even-more popular Hongkong Dragon Boat Festival 2016, also known among the locals as the Tuen Ng Festival, was celebrated in numerous sites before finally culminating last Jun 10 to 12. The finale was held for the first time at the Hongkong Island side of the harbor. Despite the bad weather which brought in a relatively thinner crowd compared to previous offerings, there were about 4,000 paddlers from 14 countries who reported to heed the call for competition.
No less than the present President, Mike Thomas, and immediate past President, Mike Haslam, of the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) were present to underscore the distinct significance of both events. IDBF is the globally-recognized body that governs the activities of dragon boat communities world-wide.
The Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) garnered a modest 2 golds (200m Mixed small boat category, 400m Mixed Standard Boat Category) and 1 bronze (200m Women’s small boat category) in Hongkong. This, despite coming in with an incomplete women’s crew, despite being able to secure clearance for most members of the team only in the ‘last 2 minutes’, despite having a very short preparation time. Had the team been given more prep time, had it been completed earlier, it would have had better chances for the golds. Lessons learned…
The experience was a truly enjoyable and enlightening one for us. It should help us in preparing for the bigger events and competitions in the years ahead.
Here are some pics and videos of the week’s great festive atmosphere.
(Pics courtesy of hongkongtraveller.com, sports.gov.mo and cbholganza, video from cbholganza)