Tobago hosted the Pan American Club Crew Championships for the first time last week. The sea-based sporting event attracted over 1000 visitors and 41 local, regional and international dragon boat teams.
The competition, held at the Pigeon Point Heritage Park, took place over a three-day period (March 22 to 24).
Tobago’s Oceanus Dragon Boat Team rowed away with eight medals including three gold, four silver and one bronze. On the last day of competition, Oceanus placed second in the 200m premier open finals, Trinidad-based Aquaholics Dragon Boat Club placed third and Friendship Dragon Boat Club of Panama came in first.
“I am heartened by the number of Tobagonians who came out in support of this initiative. Many of the visitors and competitors have expressed delight about the warm reception they received and the indigenous cultural display which enhanced their experience. Tobago’s culture and tourism offerings are beyond ordinary and the overwhelming response from the visitors can attest to this. Many have expressed their intentions to return with their families for vacation,” Tourism Secretary Nadine Stewart-Phillips said.
President of the Pan American Dragon Boat Federation, Franco Siu Chong said: “This has been an amazing tournament. All the visiting participants loved the facilities, the sun, sand and sea. The boats are exceptional and ideal to navigate Tobago’s waters. They have withstood the conditions.”
The Tourism Secretary indicated the event furthers the positioning of the island for international sporting events and increased awareness for the sport of dragon boat racing.