DBS Marina Regatta: More chances to win prize money at regatta

DBS Asia Dragons women’s team captain Jolynn Wong along with men’s team captain Ronald Ng, will be relishing racing alongside foreign teams at the revamped DBS Marina Regatta.
DBS Asia Dragons women’s team captain Jolynn Wong along with men’s team captain Ronald Ng, will be relishing racing alongside foreign teams at the revamped DBS Marina Regatta. PHOTO: DBS

More participants will have a chance to get a bite of the carrot at this year's DBS Marina Regatta.

Individual cash prizes will be awarded for both the 200m and 500m races, unlike previous editions where cash incentives were handed out based on combined race results for both distances.

Singapore's annual dragon boat extravaganza, now into its fifth edition, will also offer a total prize purse of $230,000 across 11 race categories, an increase of $15,000 from last year.

An estimated 180 teams and more than 3,000 paddlers from South-east Asia are expected to compete at the event, which will be held at Marina Bay over the two weekends spanning May 28-29 and June 4-5.

Singapore Dragon Boat Association president Dr Chia Shi-Lu said of the changes: "The idea is to give more people, more crews, the chance to win prize money... You want to get the good teams, the ones who are serious, to come in."

Rower Jolynn Wong, who captains the DBS Asia Dragons women's team, is in favour of the competition's revised format.

She said: "It is more inclusive, as it rewards teams based on their strengths, be it explosiveness in the 200m or endurance in the 500m."

The 31-year-old, who participated in the past three editions of the regatta, added: "There could also be an increase in overseas teams since the 200m and 500m events are held on different weekends.

"It is very attractive for us as it is not everyday you can race against them."

International races, which are likely to feature dragon boat powerhouses such as Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar, will take place on the second weekend.

Competitive rowing aside, themed races, which include a category for participants above 45, will be introduced to broaden the appeal of dragon boating to the masses, along with other water sports like kayaking and sailing.

Dr Chia said: "High performance aside, we also want to grow the sport for one and all within the country... I think for any sport, you need a marquee event to get the eyeballs in and to inspire people to join in."

The regatta will also see the return of Singapore's only pop-up urban beach, as well as fringe activities including an artisan market, a food village and beach concerts.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 05, 2016, with the headline 'More chances to win prize money at regatta'. Print Edition | Subscribe