Dragon boating has been a huge part of my life and my family's life since I joined a crew in Bunbury early 1990. I enjoy the fast pace and high energy of the sport, as well as the social side of it. Ideally you need 16-20 people to paddle a boat, so it is a great way to meet people. When I first started I never imagined that I would dragon boat at an international competition - but I did so in Hong Kong, Macau and Penang.
But what is dragon boating? Click on the Forza Dragon Boat tab opposite to find out more about the sport and my club and to read other articles I have written about the sport , including the full version of this one which I wrote for Perth Vita magazine, published March 2009...........
It’s exciting, colourful, explosive, high energy, and adrenalin fuelled and dragon boat racing is getting people fit and fired up across Australia.
What is dragon boating?
Dragon boating began in China as an occasion to drive off evil spirits and pestilence, to find peace and to supplicate the God of Water to prevent disaster and bring good fortune. The festival was later enriched by the legend of poet Qu Yuan in 296BC during the Chou dynasty.
It is now one of world’s fastest growing sports and it is sweeping across 55 countries around the world.
Up to 20 paddlers per crew, both men and women, sit in pairs side by side in a 12 metre long, 1.2 metre wide boat, paddling with woo
den, plastic or kevlar paddles, and steered by a sweep using a long oar. A drummer sits on the front and beats the time on a drum. The boat is decorated with a dragon head and tail. Races are usually held over 200, 500 or 1000 metres although longer races do occur.
The sport is explosive, high energy, adrenalin charged and exciting as the boats charge down the course, crews urged on by their sweeps, water flying from paddles, drums banging, only split seconds separating the lead crews.