MANILA, Philippines - Army turned back newcomer Lake Buhi “Sinarapan” to top the men’s Open division standard boat 300-meter race in the third leg of the Cobra Energy Drink Dragon Boat Regatta at the Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard last Sunday.
Bannered by eight rowers who saw action in last year’s IDBF Dragon Boat championships in Florida, Army actually finished second behind Lake Buhi, but the latter was assessed a five-second penalty for entering the wrong lane while crossing the finish line.
In the end, Army, which clocked one minute, 12.42 seconds, took first place while the provincial squad was relegated to second place with an adjusted time of 01:16.91 from its original clocking of 01:11.91.
Manila Ocean Park (01:19.50) and Onslaught Racing Dragons (01:20.03) finished third and fourth, respectively.
“If this was an international race, Lake Buhi would have been disqualified for entering the wrong lane,” said technical director and PDBF board member Nestor Ilagan. “But let me also point out the fact they had a very strong race.”
“Given more time and training, these paddlers could really give our national rowers a run for their money and even excel in overseas competition,” said PDBF president Marcia Cristobal.
“Winning would have been big for us and our community. But we have to abide by the rules,” said Buhi town Councilor and team manager Edwin Salvamante, who praised his team composed of mostly farmers and fishermen living around the Bicol lake famous for its tiny yet edible sinarapan fish.