Dragon boating: DBS Marina Regatta to get a splash of SEA Games glamour this year

The DBS Marina Regatta, Singapore's largest water sports festival, will have an added bit of glitz and glamour to this year's race.

The fourth edition of the event will not only feature the top dragon boaters in the region, but this year's competition will also see elite national teams battle for the region's top honour - SEA Games gold.

To be held over three weekends, the May 30 to June 14 regatta will be held in conjunction with 12 SEA Games medal events, all eight dragon boating events and four in sailing (dinghy and keelboat classes). The SEA Games events will take place over two weekends, June 6-7 and June 13-14.

The bulk of the regatta races, featuring an international field of some 2,500 paddlers across nine racing categories, will take place on May 30 and May 31. A total of $215,000 in prize money will be on offer.

Besides dragon boating, visitors to the regatta can also look forward to fringe activities such as a food festival, cosplay events and various activities such as a zip line for the public to enjoy.

"Dragon boating is a team sport with many interesting lessons. We are looking to build on an iconic event at Singapore," said Karen Ngui, DBS' head of group strategic marketing and communications.

Added John McGrath, senior vice-president of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association (SDBA): "Over the last four years, the DBS Marina Regatta has helped to develop dragon boaters in the region by giving them the opportunity and the platform to measure themselves against one another.

"That the DBS Marina Regatta is being held in conjunction with the SEA Games' Dragon Boat races this year is testament to the growth of the sport in Singapore."

The bank's deal to back the regatta will run till next year but plans are being mooted for a five-year extension, bringing the association with the event up to 2022.