The polytechnic’s Dragon Boat team proves its mettle by winning two Silvers in this year’s Singapore Dragon Boat Festival.
The tough race conditions did not dampen the strong fighting spirit displayed by the 70 members who represented NP Dragon Boat team in the Singapore Dragon Boat Festival 2008.
Held at Bedok Reservoir on 28 and 29 June, the Dragon Boat Festival attracted more than 3,000 participants representing institutions such as Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
The school team had to adapt to a new change in the race format whereby the boats had to be attached to a rope connected to a pontoon before the start of each race, as part of a safety requirement required by the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). It is a new safety regulation implemented since the tragedy that struck the Singapore Dragon Boat team last November in Cambodia. In the past, boats were allowed to park at the starting line before the start of each race.
The NP Dragon Boat team overcame the heat and choppy waters on both days, and clinched two silver medals in the POL-ITE men’s finals and POL-ITE mixed finals.
The school’s 20-crew mixed team came in second place in the 800-metre POL-ITE mixed finals, where they clocked a timing of 3:49:95. They were behind RP, which won the gold with a timing of 3:47:74.
Phin Lee, 19, Captain of the women’s Dragon Boat Team, said, “We lost to a better team (RP) compared to us, we didn’t lose to ourselves.”
“Now that we know where we stand, we will work on our strengths and attack on their weaknesses,” she added.
The school’s 20-crew men’s team clocked a timing of 3:33.:02, missing out on the gold by just 0.03 seconds behind RP, which finished the race with a timing of 3:32:99.
NP Dragon Boat’s president, Ong Junsheng, 20, said, “The men’s team put up a strong fight and showed great effort in every race.”
“We are disappointed in getting second, but the team has promised to work even harder for the upcoming Regatta Race,” he added.
Mr Lynus Heng, 33, coach of the school’s Dragon Boat team shared the same sentiments and hopes for the team.
“We have more time to train for the Regatta Race and hopefully, we can come back stronger this year as we were the champions for the men’s open and men’s IVP category last year,” he said.
However, he feels that the team deserves more than what they’ve achieved in this year’s Dragon Boat Festival.
The team had been training for the race since the start of February. In addition, two weeks prior to the race, they increased the frequency of their weekly trainings to five water sessions and optional land trainings in school at night.
However, it is obvious that the desire and determination to reach greater heights is something that drives both the coach and the school team.
“At the end of the day, we will not give up. This is just a fall and we’ll come up stronger,” Mr Heng added.
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