LONG BEACH, CA — It’s a big weekend, as the Long Beach Dragon Boat festival is expected to draw teams from dozens of countries racing towards the gold.
The Philippine National Team took to the waters Thursday night.
“We’re ready to compete we’re excited. We’re planning to be our best,” said paddler Art Lucente.
This is the first time the Philippine Dragon Boat Alliance will take on the waters of Long Beach.
This Alliance is made up of different teams from around the globe. Most members are from the Philippines, and some have had success on other teams.
“It is about the pride of the Filipino paddlers. We are known to be one of the toughest competitions in the Dragon Boat community,” said team captain John Pangalos.
A Dragon Boat can be a great sight when watching from afar.
But inside it’s a lot more complicated.
This will be the view of the philippine Dragon Boat Alliance for many races. They will be competing against some of the world’s best hoping to bring home the gold.
It’s a fast ride through a lagoon with 20 paddlers moving as one with the boat, using precise technical strokes.
About 40 members of the Philippine Dragon Boat Alliance will be competing on Saturday and Sunday at Marine Park in Long Beach, and are looking to continue their reputation as one of the world’s best.
“We made a remarkable mark in the World Cup world championships, have the world record until now in the 200 meters standard boat, and until now the record hasn’t been broke,” said Marcia Cristobal, former President of the PH Dragon Boat Federation.
The competitions which are free and open to the public will run from 8 am until 4 pm, and most races are expected to feature a Philippine team.