PHILIPPINE Army returned to the Cobra Energy Drink Dragon Boat Regatta with a flourish last weekend, handily winning the Open 300-meter standard boat race to cap the fourth and final leg of the successful series held at the Manila Bay overlooking the Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
The Army paddlers, who missed the third leg last September due to rescue and relief work, made their move in the last 50 meters to win pulling away in a time of one minute and 7.55 seconds in the event organized by the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation.
Philippine Navy secured runner-up honors (1:11.70), while Dragons Republic, a club formed only this year, took third (1:12.38) in the competition sponsored by Cobra, the country’s leading energy drink, and supported by the Manila Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau.
“We missed the third leg because duty comes first. But we are glad to return and win the final leg,” said team captain, Sgt. Usman Anterola, of the squad that swept all of the three Open competitions this year.
Anterola shared that 15 of their members were part of the Cobra-PDBF squad that captured two golds, one silver and one bronze in the IDBF World Cup, the “Olympics” of dragon boat rowing, in Fuzhou, China last June.
The women’s 300-meter small boat contest featured four new boats jointly acquired by Cobra and PDBF, with the Navy bets topping the event in 1:34.83 while Blue Phoenix (1:35.86) and Onslaught (1:36.12) were second and third, respectively.
Philippine Coast Guard ruled the closely-contested mixed 300-meter standard race, slipping past Navy in 1:13.28, while the latter took second in 1:13.61. Alab Sagwan Pilipinas placed third (1:14.52) in the season-ending competition that drew another huge field of 41 entries and over 300 participants.
Onslaught Racing Dragons garnered 560 points in the four-leg regatta to capture the Open overall championship, Triton A tallied 320 points to bag the Women’s overall crown while Triton A secured the Mixed title with 530 points.
“We would like to thank PDBF and participants for another successful year of our series, which just keeps on growing and has become a permanent and much-awaited fixture on the local dragon boat scene,” said Cobra Brand Assistant Jen Inumerable.