Mon, Jun 18, 2001 - Page 16 News List

San-fa and Hsintien dragon boat teams coast to victory

By Lynn Lee  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Both the San-fa Automobile Company Dragon Boat team and the Hsintien Community Representative team coasted to relatively easy victories in the men's and women's finals, respectively, at the Ninth Annual Taipei County Congressional Cup Dragon Boat Race Championships held yesterday at Bitan in Hsintien City.

The Hsintien Community Representative team, consisting of high school students from Taipei County's Ming-teh High School, won a clear victory over their rivals, the Taipei County Aboriginal Women's Club, with a combined time over two laps of roughly twelve seconds.

The San-fa automobile team hailing from Ilan had a tougher time than the top women's team, having had an exhausting day clawing their way up through the largest division and competing in five races before their final match.

Even so, they still posted a clear win over their opponents, the Taipei City Fire Department.

The Ilan County "Brotherhood" team came in third; and the Fu Jen Catholic University "Flying Dragons" took fourth.

In the women's competition the Taipei County Aboriginal Women's Club took second.

Winner of the mixed team division was the Taipei County Sports Federation. Hung Hsiao-wei (洪筱崴), a paddler from the winning Hsintien Community Representative team was thrilled with the victory.

"Taking first place was a wonderful feeling, especially after all of the hard work and effort that we put into practicing for the races. It was good to see that it all paid off in the end. I just hope we can pull a repeat performance next weekend in the Taipei City races."

Chen Shu-mei (陳淑美), a first-year paddler from the Taipei County Aboriginal Women's club, said she was happy with her team's victory. "We were competing against a team of young, athletic students, whereas most of us are already housewives and mothers. Thus, making it to the top in our division and being able to compete in the finals was already a tremendous honor in itself.

"I'm extremely happy to have been a part of this year's team. I definitely look forward to competing again next year."

Chen Chu-lin (陳竹林), a second-year paddler from the Taipei City Fire Department team had similar feelings. "You win some, you lose some. Although this was my second year paddling, it was still quite nerve-wracking to be competing in the finals against such fiercely competitive opponents."

Building team spirit and rapport with friends and workmates had been rewarding, he said.

Some of the teams have a chance to do it all again next weekend.

The Taipei International Dragon Boat Race Championships, which are part of the three-day Dragon Boat Festival celebrations, go on from June 23 to June 25, on the Keelung River beneath the Tachih Bridge (大直橋).

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