Ilocos Norte’s Paoay Lake is new international rowing site

Cherry Joy Discaya-Garma

                  

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte – Once again, the town’s legendary Paoay Lake came back to life during the three-day invitational rowing event last week.

 

The panoramic lake has become popular among athletes as a rowing site following the holding of the International Regatta here last year,

 

The three-day event was organized by the Paoay Boat Club (PBC), the first boat club in the province. The group was simultaneously launched during the

event.

 

The competition was participated in by various international boat clubs and rowing personalities in the country.

 

These were the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, the Manila Boat Club (MBC), representatives from the Philippine Rowing Association, the Ateneo Rowing Team and other delegates from Singapore and Australia.

 

Quintin Pastrana, the director for the MBC and one of the event’s core organizers, said the competition served as a training ground for participants especially the youth for a larger scale of rowing competition.

 

“The event aims to maximize the emerging potential of Paoay Lake as an international rowing center which is possible due to the upbeat tourism industry in the province, the scenic nature surrounding the lake and its size which is good for Olympic competition,” Pastrana said.

 

On the other hand, Mike Diaz of the Manila Boat Club said that Paoay Lake is very ideal for rowing events.

 

“The site is very apt for an international competition because it is close to the airport, very wide and meets international standard,” Diaz said.

 

Diaz, who is also a PBC co-founder, said that the group has purchased 20 world-class rowing boats that were used for the invitational regatta.

 

“Paoay Lake is a natural reservoir. This is a very ideal place to row so this even gives more potential for more rowers to come in and at the same time we have a lot of good boats for everybody,” Pastrana added.

The participants including locals were trained by top coaches from the international team and the Philippine Rowing Team which recently won silver and gold in the recent SEA Games.

 

Paoay Lake, a 387-hectare body of water located a few kilometers south of Laoag City, is a host to diverse biodiversity and some migratory birds including the Great Cormorants.

 

Its potential as a premier venue for water sports was first realized during 1970s where the opportunity to do ‘kayak’ was entertained.

“This Paoay Invitational Regatta is just a preparation for a bigger event, a major international regatta we are planning to have here in June,” Pastrana said. (MCA/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)

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