A royally British Dragon! William WINS dragon boat race in SingaporeNovember 6, 2023
A royally British Dragon! William WINS dragon boat race with mixed gender crew in Singapore and is praised as a ‘natural’ by his team (before admitting he was ‘terrified’ of getting his paddle rhythm wrong)
The Prince of Wales was praised as ‘a natural’ as his team won a dragon boat race on the Marina Reservoir against a backdrop of Singapore’s most famous landmarks.
William, wearing a black cap and white polo shirt, was praised by a teammate from the British Dragons.
Another said the prince ‘didn’t miss a stroke’ after he took part in a race on a 22-seater boat with locals, British expats living in Singapore and representatives from across the Commonwealth this morning.
The prince replied saying ‘I love sports’ and he was following ‘the key man in front of me’, pointing at the captain, before saying he was ‘terrified’ that if he got the rhythm of the paddle wrong he would ‘clash with the whole side’.
He also praised the drummer at the bow of the boat saying ‘the drum was very good, a very good rhythm’.
William thanked the mixed gender crew, with representation from 14 nationalities including eight Commonwealth nations, and said he ‘really enjoyed’ the race before leaving.
Prince William takes part in a dragon boat race practice with members of the British Dragons club at the Kallang River in Singapore
Prince William laughs with members of the British Drago boating club on the Kallang River
William, wearing a black cap and white polo shirt, was praised by a teammate from the British Dragons
Captain of the team, Chris Bosher, said after the race that the prince was ‘super engaged from the moment he walked down the pontoon to the moment he finished’.
He added: ‘He was excellent, he said ‘seriously guys I want us to win this’.
‘After he was asking about the race calendar and we mentioned we’d got a race coming up in two weeks and really he should come back and we’ll give him a seat on the boat.
‘He said it’s quite a refreshing break to do from the normal routine so this was right up his street.’
Kirthana Lakshmanan, treasurer, said William joined in the three cheers ‘with gusto’.
The prince is in Singapore for the third annual Earthshot Prize ceremony, aimed at recognising solutions to ‘repair’ the planet, and will see five category winners presented with £1 million each to scale up their environmental ideas.
Dragon boat racing can be traced back nearly 2,000 years and it began as a modern international sport in 1976.
It is a popular sport in Singapore with many nations, including the UK, having expat teams based there.
The British Dragons formed as a club in 2000, with support from the British Chamber of Commerce, with 70 members from 16 nationalities who participate in both local and international competitions.
The team meet up to four times per week for training sessions, and participate both in local and international competitions.
There is also a collection of expat teams known as the International Dragon Boat Community.
Once back on land, the prince also met the Australian High Commissioner to Singapore, Canadian High Commissioner, New Zealand High Commissioner and Papua New Guinean High Commissioner.
Captaining the second boat was Kara Owen, British High Commissioner to Singapore.
It was not the first time the prince has paddled on a dragon boat, after going head-to-head on the water with the then-Duchess of Cambridge during their tour of Canada in 2011 – and beating her team by crossing the line a third of a boat’s length ahead.
William arrived in Southeast Asia on Sunday evening to crowds cheering at Jewel, a nature-themed complex at Changi Airport, then met Singaporeans during a walkabout at the Shiseido Forest Valley, the indoor garden located in Jewel, who gave him gifts, shook his hand and posed for selfies.
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