Paoay Lake eyed as premier training site for water sports

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte – After being declared as a national park and as a bird watching site, Paoay Lake is now gradually turning to be a promising training site for rowing events.

According to Mike Diaz, member of the Manila Boat Club, the lake is one of the best locations in the country for rowing competitions because of its scenic view and calm water.

“It is really a perfect place for rowing. The water is calm and not tidy which is what rowers want and really looking forward to,” Diaz said.

Benjamin Ramos, Jr., president of the Philippine Rowing Association, echoed Diaz’ observations even as he added that Paoay Lake is a promising venue for elite rowing events because it also meets  international standard.

“The lake will be one of the best training sites in the country, because basically it meets more than the international standard. It has the length of more than 200 meters and can provide at least 6 lanes for boats,” Ramos said.

He also explained that Paoay Lake has more advantages as a rowing site compared to La Mesa Eco Dam and Pasig River.

“…Pasig River is not that clean anymore, La Mesa Dam is already a place for conserving water, so … Paoay Lake is the best place to hold regattas in the country. It is not polluted and allows participants to row easily,” he added.

Gaining nationwide attention for its potential to host rowing events, Paoay Lake inaugurated its own boat club last February 1 which was witnessed by various international boat clubs and rowing authorities in the country that included the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Manila Boat Club, representatives from the Philippine Rowing Association, Ateneo Rowing Team and other delegates from Singapore and Australia.

These delegates also competed in the first Paoay Invitational Regatta which was held on February 1 and 2 that featured the first official races participated in by the rowers of Paoay Boat Club.

The event was organized by one of the most prestigious rowing organizations in the world, the Hong Kong Royal Yacht Club with the provincial government of Ilocos Norte as its partner.

Governor Imee R. Marcos was optimistic that the province would become a premier avenue for water sports. (with reports from Rodrigo Guzman and Rey Quemado, and Grazielle Mae A. Sales, PGIN-CMO)