They finished behind the DBS Bank Ltd A dragon boat team in the DBS Marina Regatta 200m corporate mixed grand final last year, as well as this year's semi-finals.
The KPMG Dragonboat A team looked like finishing runners-up again when the defending champions took an early lead in the grand final at Marina Bay yesterday.
But, spurred by previous losses and by paddling faster and harder, KPMG came from behind to win the race in 57.24sec.
DBS were a close second at 57.36sec while the ExxonMobil Singapore Recreation Club A were third (59.62sec).
KPMG captain Kelvin Ho, 30, was proud of his teammates for mounting a comeback to defeat favourites DBS, crediting the win as a team effort.
He said: "200m is a very short race so it's really a mental game. Everyone pushed hard and I told them not to give up even though our competitors were strong.
"Going up against DBS, knowing how strong they are, that affected us a bit but we kept telling ourselves to be confident in our strokes, our training and one another.
"In the end, when you cross the finish line, it's not so much about what you win or didn't win.
"It's about giving everything you have so that when you look back, you have no regrets and you've done everything you can."
DBS captain Kenneth Lee rued the loss but admitted KPMG had a good race.
He said: "It was a good race for them and they probably executed their strategy better than we did.
"Our boat wasn't moving smoothly in the last part of the race and that made the difference.
"We made mistakes, so we'll look back and see what we can improve on and come back stronger next year," said the 31-year-old.
In the DBS Community Active Warriors Open, for paddlers 50 and above, Singapore Paddle Club B won in 57.90sec, ahead of Taman Jurong Seahawk (58.98sec) and Avago Aussie Team (59.22sec).
The winners' 56-year-old member Manfred Albrecht said: "It was a good, competitive race.
"The good thing about dragon boating is you do it as a team, so teamwork is more important than individual strengths. But if you combine teamwork with your strength, you can be flying as a team. It's a fantastic sport to do with your friends while making new ones as well."
In the Schools National A Division races, National Junior College (NJC) retained their 200m DB12 girls' title in 1min 3.20sec, ahead of Raffles Institution A (1:07.98) and St Joseph's Institution A (1:09.16).
Tampines-Meridian Junior College won the boys' 200m DB12 title in 57.02sec followed by NJC (58.26sec) and Nanyang Junior College (58.46sec).
The regatta continues today with the premier and corporate open and women's races.
Also, a delay in the regatta's schedule because of bad weather yesterday morning means the 200m premier mixed final will take place today.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 02, 2019, with the headline Team effort reaps reward. Subscribe