MANILA, Philippines -- The fourth and final leg of the exciting Cobra Energy Drink Dragon Boat Regatta will be held on Sunday at Manila Bay.
The Philippine Army will seek to capture men’s team overall honors, which would underscore its status as the top dragon boat team in the country.
After three legs in the series, the Army paddlers are on top of the 300-meter standard boat competition with a commanding 380 points, 60 points ahead of One Piece Drakon Sangres.
The latter is engaged in a tight battle for second place with Onslaught Racing Dragons (310).
“This coming Sunday’s fourth leg is the climax of the series that began early this year as an event for the growing sport of dragon boat racing. We expect exciting races to decide the overall winners in each division,” said Cobra Energy Drink senior brand assistant Karlene Sebastian on Tuesday’s PSA forum at the Shakey’s Malate branch.
“We would like to thank Cobra’s sustained support to our dragon boat rowers in ensuring they have a competition where they can not only show their prowess but also open an opportunity for others who want to compete in the sport,” Philippine Dragon Boat Federation president Marcia Cristobal, also a forum guest, said.
Cristobal cited the Lake Buhi Sinarapan team composed of farmers and fishermen which nearly upset the fancied Army rowers in the third leg, crossing the finish line first, only to be penalized for entering the wrong lane and was subsequently relegated to second place.
It would have been a major reversal considering that Army had nine athletes who were part of the national team that won golds in last year’s International Dragon Boat Federation World championships held in Tampa Bay, Florida.
She said that the town of Buhi, whose lake is famous for the tiny edible fish sinarapan, will field two teams – Buhi Bicol and Buhi Sinarapan - this weekend in the competition organized by the Philippine Dragonboat Federation (PDBF).
It is also a two-way battle in the women’s division, Cristobal said, with Triton on top with 180 points after three legs while not too far behind in second place is Manila Ocean Park (140). The De La Salle University squad is third (80).
The mixed division was also a close fight among Onslaught Racing Dragons, which led the way with 210 points, Manila Ocean Park and DLSU, which were both in second spot with 190 points.
A total of 42 teams are vying in the open, women’s and mixed divisions, making the regatta one of the most well-participated events and a fitting climax to the local dragon boat racing calendar for 2012.
In keeping with the festive season of Christmas and as part of the campaign of Cobra Energy Drink and PDBF for a clean and healthy environment, prizes in cash and in kind await the teams that can come up with creative ways to dress up their respective tents with recycled materials.
There will also be prizes at stake in the song and cheer contests.
Organizers also urged the participants and their followers to bring donations such as canned goods and clothes that will be given to the victims of recent Typhoon Pablo in Mindanao.
“We would like to invite our weekend Baywalk promenaders and dragon boat rowing enthusiasts to come and join us this Sunday and witness the thrilling races in the Cobra Energy Drink Dragon Boat Regatta,” both Cristobal and Sebastian said. “Make it a family day for dragon boat rowing.”