Dragonboat: Ley Choon dash to the double

The team from Ley Choon Group Holdings powering across the finishing line to be crowned champions in the 200m Premier Open category at the DBS Marina Regatta.
The team from Ley Choon Group Holdings powering across the finishing line to be crowned champions in the 200m Premier Open category at the DBS Marina Regatta.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

They add 200m title to 500m win, runners-up Temasek Poly fare well against senior rivals

Despite having to compete with a relatively new crew, Ley Choon Group Holdings maintained their grip on the Premier Open titles at the DBS Marina Regatta yesterday.

With the 500m title already in the bag after Saturday's races, the same team went on to repeat the feat in yesterday's 200m Open grand final.

In a clear-cut victory in the waters off The Promontory at Marina Bay, Ley Choon won in 47.762 seconds ahead of Temasek Polytechnic (48.583sec) to complete the double for the second year running.

Ley Choon vice-captain Eugene Yap believes yesterday's win was even sweeter given the changes to the team.

"It feels great because the team for this year are relatively new because most of our rowers from last year were not able to commit... almost half of the (current) batch are new," said the 28-year-old inventory executive.

While Ley Choon, a local underground utilities infrastructure company, had to deal with internal changes, 200m Premier Open runners-up Temasek Poly were forced to adapt to a revised regatta roster which no longer featured a tertiary category.

Captain Muhd Sufian acknowledged that the level of competition in the Open category was higher but commended the team for exceeding expectations.

The 19-year-old business student told The Straits Times: "We were competing against rowers who had much more experience.

"Honestly we didn't even expect to reach the grand finals. Our goal was to do the best that we can and I think we did."

In the Premier Women's 200m grand final, debutants Yarra River Dragons from Melbourne cruised to victory, finishing in 1min 3.004sec to defeat defending champions Singapore Paddle Club by half a boat length.

When asked about his team's decision to take part in the regatta, head coach David Abel said: "We wanted to see how we fared outside Australia and this is a good regatta to come...

"It's a great venue and (the competition) is well run."

Yarra River Dragons captain Emily Mason was impressed with the level of competition on show.

The 27-year-old said: "There are some strong teams out there. We are very proud to race beside them."

Singapore Paddle Club claimed the last Premier title, emerging victorious in the Mixed category with a time of 58.420sec.

This year marks the sixth edition of the annual regatta since its inception in 2012.

Over 180 teams from six countries participated in this year's event.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2017, with the headline 'Ley Choon dash to double'. Print Edition | Subscribe