PDBF Club Crew event gets permit
BORACAY—With top officials of the International Dragon Boat Federation personally making an appeal, the first Cobra PDBF International Club Crew Challenge paddled off late yesterday after finally securing a permit from Caticlan Mayor John Yap.
The first race of the two-day event was finally flagged off at 3 p.m. off the island’s Station 3 as Yap granted the request of IDBF president Mike Haslam and technical chief Mike Thomas to hold the event which is sanctioned by the international federation.
Haslam and Thomas, who were accompanied by Philippine Dragon Boat Federation president Marcia Cristobal, also informed Yap that the 6th Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival scheduled on the same dates as the Club Crew Challenge is not authorized by the PDBF, which is recognized by the IDBF.
“What if there are accidents? It happens,” said Haslam. “At the moment they have no qualifications. If accidents happen and there is an inquiry, first thing they’ll ask is what’s the qualification? What are the rules, the safety regulations, who was in charge? It is only the PDBF which has that authority.”
Haslam added that he has written the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission to shed light on the issue last year but got no reply. He then appealed to the Filipino dragon boat paddlers to rally behind the PDBF.
The IDBF is currently working on becoming an official member of the International Olympic Committee.
“How I wish we could get everybody together,” he added. “We are all dragon boat. All should support PDBF.”
The local organizer Boracay Island Paddlers Association (Bipa) had reportedly invited Haslam to grace their own event, but the IDBF boss said he would only go if the PDBF will provide the technical support for the races.
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