Guam – The 1st Annual Heroes Dragon Boat Race commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 kicked off with Governor Eddie B. Calvo addressing the participants made up of various first responders followed by a Benediction. A minute of silence was observed at which time sirens, from various emergency vehicles lined up at the park site, glared in memory of the fallen heroes from our continued fight for freedom. Pa’a Tao Tao Tano commenced the race with the Blessing of the Dragon Boats before the teams from Andersen Air Force Base Fire Department, Guam Fire Department, Guam Homeland Security, Guam International Airport, Guam National Guard, Guam Police Department, Naval Station Fire Department, Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club and the Guam Dragon Boat teams took to the waters.
The qualifying heats witnessed the Guam Fire Department, Guam National Guard and the Guam Dragon Boat Federation winning their respective heats to advance to the semi-final races, while the Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club, Guam Police Department and Navy Fire Department advanced through the loser’s bracket.
The momentum kicked up during the semi-final rounds as teams posted faster times then the preliminary rounds. After all was said and done, a difference of 1.5 seconds separated the contenders from the field. Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club emerged as the early favorite turning in a 400 meter race time of 2:01.31. The Guam National Guard clocked in at 2:02.60 with Guam Fire Department posting the third best time at 2:03.81 to advance to the Championship Race.
A consolation race was held for the 4th place prize with the Guam Police Department nipping the Guam Dragon Boat Federation by a 46/100th of a second in a tightly contested match. GPD paddled to a 2:09.16 time while GDBF registered a time of 2:09.62 with the Navy Fire Department clocking in at 2:13.32.
It was an all out hustle for the Championship race which featured the Guam National Guard in lane 1, Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club in lane 2 and the Guam Fire Department in lane 3. Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club took an early lead past the 200 meter post with the Guam National Guard right behind them while the Fire Department reeled half a dragon boat length behind. As the Dragon Boats approached the finish line, the Guam National Guard began inching their way through the final leg before reaching the finish line to squeak by the Haggan team posting a time of 2:05.27 to 2:06.33 to claim the Championship Prize.
In the 200 meter race the Guam Homeland Security posted the best time of 1:05.55 paddling past the Guam National Guard team 1 1:06.80 and Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club 1:03.43.
This event was hosted by the Guam Dragon Boat Federation and Haggan Outrigger Canoe Club and sponsored by Tan Holdings Corporation, Hawaiian Rock Products, Docomo Pacific, Moylan’s Insurance, Calvo’s Enterprises, Unity Development Corporation, Tan Siu Lin Foundation, United Tire, HFP Products, Hanson Cement, Matson, Mid Pac Far East, Tsang Brothers, ASC Trust, Capricciosa, Jamaican Grill, Department of Parks and Recreation and the Guam Visitors Bureau.
Information from a press release.