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Army, Air Force rule Cobra dragon boat

Army and Air Force shared the spotlight in the well-attended third leg of the 2013 Cobra Energy Drink Dragon Boat Regatta held at the Manila Bay overlooking the Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard last weekend.

Fresh from their stint in the recent IDBF World Dragon Boat Championships in Szeged, Hungary, the Army paddlers were in a class by themselves in ruling the 300-meter men’s standard Open division race in one minute and 8.14 seconds.

“Majority of this team saw action in Hungary kaya medyo batak pa,” noted Army team skipper Sgt. Ronald Tan, whose squad served as the backbone of the PDBF-Cobra contingent that won a pair of silver and bronze medals in the IDBF worlds.

Buhi-Camsur placed second (1:09.98) while dark horse Lake Buhi, which won the opening leg but just recently returned to training, was relegated to third place (1:10.67) in the event backed by Cobra, the country’s leading energy drink, and also supported by Cetaphil, Lufthansa and Manila Water Company.

Serving notice they will be a future force to reckon with, the Air Force rowers made a memorable debut in the Cobra Regatta series in clinching the mixed 300-meter standard (1:15.40) and the women’s Open division 300-meter small boat event (1:26.16).

Coast Guard took runner-up honors in the mixed division (1:16.86), nosing out third-placer Triton (1:17.04) while Triton A (1:29.76) and RCP Sea Dragon (1:32.08) were second and third, respectively, in the women’s race of the event also supported by Manila Ocean Park and Ticketway travel agency.

Despite the slightly overcast weather, a total of 44 teams took part in last weekend’s competition, including newcomers Spitfire Dragons, Alab Pilipinas and 1925 Apo, which are all affiliated with the Philippine Canoe Kayak Federation.

“As we keep on saying, our event is open to everyone,” said Cobra assistant brand manager Karlene Sebastian. “This huge field shows the passion of our athletes for their sport and underscores the ‘Lakas ng Pinas’ and our wealth of talent in local dragon boat rowing.”