Filipino Dragons (Singapore) has recently bagged three gold medals at the 6th Sava Sprints International Dragonboat Competition, 20-21 November 2010, held at Lower Seletar Reservoir, Singapore. The team’s 12th gold medal in dragonboat races only in the span of two years. Filipino Dragons (Singapore) is an expatriate team in Singapore with over 130 members and an affiliate member of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association. It is to be mentioned here that the recent gold medal is the most precious one as it is the team’s first time to conquer the Championship in the Singapore Expatriate Community Category.
While the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) bagged the golds for the Corporate Club 20-Crew Open and the Singapore Expatriate Community Categories, two boats from the Filipino team raced and won the Gold and Silver in the Local Freestyle Category. Also, in the two-day dragonboat event, several Filipino teams from Manila competed and all went home with medals. They are the Legionaires Dragonboat Team, PDRT Fireblades and PYROS.
The Sava Sprints International is an annual event organized by Sava. ”Think Dragonboat. Think SAVA”, tryly has been Sava’s mission in promoting the sport in the country. ”This year, we were very confident to win in the categories that we have signed up for because our team has religiously trained four times a week,” said Harland Baraquero, Head Coach of the Filipino Dragons (Singapore). ”I always tell them to make each stroke solid and to alwyas look in front during their heats.”
“I am very proud of them for their first gold medal in the Singapore Expatriate Community Category. They are now the new champions and the team to beat here in Singapore.”, Baraquero acknowledged.
For the record, Filipino Dragons (Singapore) or FDS has joined several international dragonboat races in Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and in the team’s homeland Philippines. The team has been supported by 7,107 Flavours, PacBev, distributors of San Miguel Beer, Kali Majapahit and Buff Multifunction Headwear from Spain.
The team is celebrating its 2nd Anniversary in 13 December 2010 and has since established friendship and solidarity among other expatriate teams in the dragonboat community. According to Tharin Walker, Team Captain of the American Dragons, “I’ve known the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) since the team’s beginning in early 2009. I’ve been favorably impressed by several things about the team. The first is , of course, the very fast growth in terms of numbers – FDS is easily the largest of the Expat / International teams in Singpaore. Also, of course, the very fast rise from beginner to competitive status in terms of race results. But, the coolest thing that I see about FDS is the friendly, family-like atmosphere amongst all the team members. That is the team’s biggest strength, in my opinion.”
Wayne Salamonsen of AustCham Dragonboat Team when asked about the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) shared, “We’ve known the Filipino Dragons since they first setup here several years ago. At that time they were just a fledgling team that had to borrow boats from other teams to get out on the water. Since then they’ve grown significantly in both size and ability.” In 2009, the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) joined the AustCham 10K Challenge hosted by the Australian Dragonboat Team and this year the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) sent two boats to participate in the said annual event. Salamonsen added: ”They are now probably the largest International team in Singapore in terms of membership numbers, own several boats and have become consistent challengers for the top step of the podium at the major Dragon Boat events in Singapore.”
Coach Baraquero added: ”We are now preparing for MR500 race in March 2011 and the Boracay International Dragonboat Festival on April 28-30, 2011 in Boracay, Philippines. I am very delighted with the number and the quality of wins that we got for this year. An early team anniversary and Christmas gift for most of us who will be away from their families this coming holiday season.”