All eyes will be on Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team as it begins its campaign with the Premier Open 2,000-meter race in the 9th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) Club Crews World Championships being held at the Standiana Bacin Regatta Course in Ravenna, Italy.
Besides the 2,000m race, the Army paddlers are also scheduled to compete in the 500m and 200m events.
“We decided to compete in the Premier Open because all the best teams in the world are seeing action in that event. We want to keep the bragging rights as the fastest boat crew in the world,” said Philippine Army Dragon Boat Team President Lt. Col. Harold Cabunoc on the official Facebook account of the team.
Eight Army paddlers were members of the world-record holder team in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 editions of the IDBF World Championships.
The Filipinos are heavy favorites to dominate their events in the tournament which drew participants from the Americas , Europe, Asia and Oceania and Africa .
“Here come the best paddlers in the planet,” said IDBF’s Borucki Slawek.
“This is probably an overkill. More than half of the [Philippine Army] crew members are current world record holders,” a United Arab Emirates paddler said.