Contributed by reader Lam Chun See. Pictures by Kenneth G. Pinto


Some schools girls from Bedok Green Secondary cheering their teammates on. Their loud cheers added to the atmosphere of the competition. (Photo 1 © Kenneth G. Pinto)

Bedok Reservoir, Saturday, April 12, 2008 – The 8th National Schools Dragon Boat Championship was held on Saturday, April 12, at the Bedok Reservoir. In all there were more than 30 events covering A, B and C Divisions for both boys and girls. The boats had 10 and 20 crews, and the race was over a distance of 500 metres. I was there to support my son and his friends from the ACS (I) A Division team. Here's a brief report of the event.

For a start, this event almost did not take off at all because of the torrential rain which began at about 12.00 pm. As you might expect, kayaking and boating events cannot proceed during thunderstorms for safety reasons. The rain was so heavy that I had to drive at about 40 kmh on the PIE! Fortunately the rain stopped at about 1.00 pm and the competition commenced after a delay of only half an hour. The rest of the afternoon was cloudy and cool with intermittently light drizzle. This was good for the rowers but gave the shutter bugs a hard time.

Considering the weather, the turnout was good. Support for some the girls' teams was strong and I saw several parents who like me, were there to cheer their children.

Unlike the Singapore Canoe Federation which organized the recent canoeing championships at MacRitchie, the Singapore Dragon Boat Association which organized this event did not publish the full results on their website ( As such I am not able to give you the full results. I did hear though, that Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) dominated the B and C Divisions boys events taking the overall titles. Bukit Panjang Government High School and Saint Joseph's Institution took second and third places.

For the A Division boys, the champions were Anglo-Chinese Junior College. In fact the final of the A Division 10 crew race was a real cliffhanger with ACJC taking the gold by a narrow margin. As for the girls A Division races, National Junior College came in first followed by ACJC. For some unknown reason, the entire NJC boys team withdrew from the competition mid-way.

I am sorry I do not have the results of the B and C Divisions girls events. I hope some readers can enlighten us. However, I can testify that these were some of the most exciting races of the day. This was partly due to the vociferous screaming of the girls who supported their schools teams. Their loud cheers added to the atmosphere and enhanced our enjoyment. I seem to recall the name CHIJ Toa Payoh being hailed. Thank you girls.

Our enjoyment of the event was also enhanced by the lively commentary of the master of ceremony. His regular announcements and excited description of each race enabled us to keep track of what was going on; for example, which team was leading, how close was the race, which lanes the teams were in and so on. I think this is one area that the SCF can learn from. In their case, we were often left in the dark as to what was going on. Often you don't even know that a race had started until you hear the supporters cheering; and then you are left wondering which race it was.

Finally, I must say that the Bedok Reservoir is a much better venue for such sport events than the MacRitchie. Not only is there much more room for the competitors to move about and rest, there are also proper spectators stands to sit and watch the races. If we wanted to move near to the start point of the races, it was easily accessible along the shore of the lake. In the case of MacRitchie, there is no way you can do that. Because of the shape and layout of the lake, you need to walk at least 2 km to get near the start point.

I am looking forward to the Inter-Schools Canoeing Championships in July. Hope to see all of you there.

Editor’s note: If you recognise any of the paddlers, please leave the names in the comments section. Thanks.


One of the more exciting races involving the C Division girls of CHIJ (Toa Payoh) in boat #2 seen here crossing the finishing line ahead of the pack. (Photo 2 © Kenneth G. Pinto)

These 20 B Division girls of CHIJ (Toa Payoh) moving out to the start point to take up position for their race. (Photo 3 © Kenneth G. Pinto)

Another exciting race involving the boys as two boats approach the finishing line. (Photo 4 © Kenneth G. Pinto)

Lucas Teo of the ACS(I) A Division team is a picture of concentration. Lucas is a member of Singapore’s national kayaking team. (Photo 5 © Kenneth G. Pinto)

Another shot of the girls crossing the finishing line. (Photo 6 © Kenneth G. Pinto)

The ACJC A Division team (Boat 5) celebrating their narrow victory over their ‘brothers' from ACS(I) (Boat 3) in the nail-biting finals of the 10 crew race. (Photo 7 © Kenneth G. Pinto)