Local club triumphs in main event of International Dragon Boat Festival

Some of the teams returning to the shore during the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival 2018 in Teluk Bahang dam.

PACIFIC West Dragon Boat Club A kept the Jalur Gemilang flying high on the final day of the Penang International Dragon Boat Festival 2018 at the Teluk Bahang Dam.

They clocked 2:08.76s to finish top in the 500m International Premier Open (12 rowers), which is touted as the highlight of the two-day race.

Coming in second and third were the Philippines Bakunawa Dragon Boat and Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association, who crossed the finishing line with a time of 2:09.56s and 2:09.90s respectively.

The shouts of ‘Who’s the best? Pacific West!’ could be heard during the prize presentation ceremony on Sunday.

Team manager Cheah Chai Hin said they came well prepared for the competition, adding that dedication and discipline were key to the victory.

“It was head-to-head and a very close fight among the top three teams. It’s anybody’s race in the final and we just managed to nick it at the crucial moment.

“I want to thank coach Lawrence Koh who has been sacrificing his personal and family time in guiding the team.

“We usually train at night at the Tanjung Bungah open sea, three times a week as most of our members are working. I am very happy with the result,” he said.

The win was certainly a redemption after Pacific West had come within a whisker in securing another victory in the 200m International Premier Open (12 rowers).

They finished second behind Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association.

A total of 66 teams - 31 foreign and 35 local teams - took part in the competition which recorded the highest number of entries in its history.

State Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin said the rowers came from Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, China, Korea, Japan and many others.

“Dragon boating has been a tradition and culture here which we wish to promote and preserve for our generations to come.

“We believe that there are many things we can learn as a dragon boater, among them the spirit of camaraderie, competitiveness and teamwork.

“The sport is also a universal language that brings people together,” he said.

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