The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) along with the Manila Boat Club (MBC) formally launched the 71st Amateur Rowing Association of the East and Far East Amateur Rowing Association International Rowing Regatta, now branded as the 1st International Paoay Regatta through an opening ceremony and a welcome party yesterday, January 15, 2013 with the participation of hundreds of local spectators, and sportspeople.
With the scenic Paoay Lake as backdrop, the opening ceremony which started at 4:00PM yesterday was attended by Ilocos Norte Governor Imee R. Marcos, PGIN officials, Paoay Mayor Bonifacio Clemente Jr., MBC officers, the rowers and the captains of participating rowing clubs, and Benjamin Ramos, the president of the Philippine Rowing Association.
“This championship will largely contribute to the development of rowing in the aspect of improving competitiveness and popularizing this sport,” Ramos said to the crowd, pertaining to how the said event would help in the promotion of this lesser-known water sport to the Philippines.
After which, Ramos also highlighted the purpose behind choosing Paoay Lake as this year’s venue.
“It [the event] has great significance because it will give us the opportunity to observe this great venue in Paoay where we hope to hold more international rowing events in the future.”
Rowing is an elite water sport that involves the use of oars or ‘sculls’ to propel a boat through the water. In contrast to other water sports, enthusiasts claim that it has more benefits.
“Rowing brings to mind health, discipline, balance, youth,…All of these attributes are important in business and industry in their sponsorship and call for social responsibility,” Colin Smith, the MBC boat captain, expressed his awe about the support that the provincial government has provided MBC.
Smith also ended his speech by inviting the international participants to go back rowing on the Paoay Lake.
“Spread the word [about] this beautiful province. We hope that you will bring with you your friends and your family back to us soon,” Smith said.
Participated in by various rowing clubs from India (Bengal Rowing Club, Calcutta Rowing Club, College of Engineering Boat Club-Pune, College of Military Engineering Pune Rowing Club, The Lake Club Kolta, Madras Boat Club, and The Rowing Center Chennai), Pakistan (Karachi Boat Club), Singapore (Easter Rowing Club), Sri Lanka (Colombo Rowing Club) and the host, Philippines (Manila Boat Club), this international rowing regatta is being held at the legendary Paoay Lake which had long been an isolated body of water mainly used for breeding various fish species before it became an official site for family-friendly activities last 2010 through the leadership of Gov. Marcos.
Today, Jan. 16 until Saturday, Jan. 19, it will serve as home to rowers from across the globe.
“Truly, legend will once again reign here in the lake through your [participants] athletic ability, your victory, and your tremendous discipline and teamwork. Let us bring life to Paoay Lake… Let the races begin!” Gov. Marcos said.
Source: tourismilocosnorte.com January 21, 2013