The Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) and the Manila Boat Club (MBC) are now busy preparing for the staging of the 71st Amateur Rowing Association of the East (ARAE) and Far East Amateur Rowing Association (FEARA) International Regatta which will commence on January 13 to 20, 2013 at Paoay Lake.
According to Engineer Chona dela Cruz of the Provincial Engineering Office (PEO), the preparation for the event includes the upgrading of the venue to cater to the requirement of a rowing event such as the setting up of 1-kilometer buoy lines to mark the racing lanes on the lake, and the construction of a special area to house the 20 boats of MBC to be used for the competition.
“What we did for the materials is mostly recycling that only a few were purchased from hardware stores. We have used plastic soft drink containers for the buoys and the straps holding MBC’s boats are made out of scraps from the provincial motor pool. We have also repaired the clubhouse, specifically its electrical and water supplies. We have also requested the landscapers of PGIN to remodel the area,” Engr. dela Cruz added.
The event will gather hundreds of visitors, including more or less 200 amateur rowers from various boat clubs in United Kingdom, Australia, India, Hong Kong, and other nations across Europe and Asia, said Ianree Raquel, head of the Provincial Tourism Office.
“This is the reason why we have also enjoined various departments here in the province—INPPO [Ilocos Norte Provincial Police Office] would be responsible for maintaining security and GSO [General Service Office of PGIN] would make sure of the sanitation and cleanliness of the area during the event,” Raquel said.
The rowers are expected to arrive on Jan. 13 in Ilocos Norte. They are given two days (Jan. 13 to 14) to practice and do tune-up races on the actual venue, Paoay Lake.
A press conference, a photo shoot of the participants with the officials and a welcome party would be held before the official start of the competition on Jan. 15.
The ARAE-FEARA International Regatta is annually held in various locations across the East Region.
This year’s host, MBC, the oldest existing rowing club in the Philippines, has selected Paoay Lake for its calm nature and breathtaking scenery.
“We are very glad that they [MBC] have selected Paoay Lake for this reaffirms the fact that Paoay Lake has the best potential to be an international rowing destination,” Raquel said.—Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO