Tobago will host the Fourth edition of the Pan American Club Crew Dragon Boat Championship on March 22 to 24, 2019.
It is expected to be the largest ever edition of the continental championship with over 900 athletes and close to 200 officials and staff from 41 clubs set to descend on Pigeon Point.
But while the sun, sea and white sand have proven to be a major attraction, the moderately wavy water is by and large quite opposite to what prevails in the other four countries that are a part of the Pan American Federation.
Panama, Canada, the United States of America and Puerto Rico are accustomed to flatter waters and more placid conditions.
“We don’t have flat water conditions,” said President of the Pan American Federation Franco Siu Chong.
“This is a sports tourism product. Tobago has sand, sun, beaches but no flat water. But we will attract the people who want to come to dragon boat racing and experience what we do in the Caribbean with rough water and we will establish an international dragon boat regatta that is called extreme dragon boat racing. In sports tourism, you need a little niche and we said that Tobago is the best place to have this event.”
In addition to attracting its largest ever entry, including 18 local clubs, one of the world’s best team that will also grace the competition is
22Dragons based in Montreal, Canada, the reigning World Champion club which will field a team of over 60 athletes and officials in their quest for the Pan American title.
“You can imagine that the competition will be pretty robust but nevertheless, pretty enjoyable,” said T&T Dragon Boat Federation president, Keith Dalip.
“I would like to say though, that we tried to level the playing field as much as we could and the boats that we brought in are specially designed. It's a first generation boat. There have never been boats used like these anywhere in the world and those boats I think will pretty much level the playing field for those that are unaccustomed to our water conditions.”
Thursday March 21
Opening ceremony/motorcade – Scarborough Esplanade to Shaw Park
Friday March 22nd
1000 and 2000 meter races
Saturday March 23rd
500 meter races
Sunday March 24th
200 meters and Closing ceremony