Make your own free website on Tripod.com

LONDON DRAGON BOAT

The source of Dragon Boat info in London, Ontario and surrounding area.

Links Photos Festivals Home

The following exerpt is from Wikipedia
Dragon boat. (2006, October 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:07, October 6, 2006, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dragon_boat&oldid=79689268

Dragon boat racing as a modern sport
Modern dragon boat racing is organised at an international level by the International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF). The IDBF recognises two types of Dragon Boat Racing activities, namely Sport racing, as practised by IDBF member organisations; and Festival racing, which are the more traditional and informal types of races, organised around the world, where racing rules vary from event to event.

Sport racing distances are normally over 200m or 250m, 500m, 1000m and 2000m, with formal Rules of Racing.
A festival race is typically a sprint event of several hundred metres, with 500 metres being a standard distance in many international festival races.
There are also some very long endurance events, such as the Three Gorges Dam Rally along the Yangtze River (or Chang Jiang) near Yichang, Hubei province, China, which covers up to 100 kilometres and the Ord River marathon in Australia which covers over 50 kilometers

Popularity
Due to the long history of dragon boat racing in China, participants in cultural and racing events there number some 50 million people (on a population base of over 1 billion souls). Over the past 25 years, and especially since the formation of the IDBF and its Continental Federations for Asia and Europe (see below), the sport of dragon boating has gradually spread beyond Asia to Europe, North America, Australia and Africa, becoming a popular international sport with a growing number of participants.

The Hong Kong Tourism Bureau helped move dragon boat racing into the modern era by donating teak dragon boats to countries around the world. In 1986, the Hong Kong Pavillion at Expo 86 donated 4 teak dragon boats to the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Community leaders in Vancouver quickly saw the potential in creating a multicultual event that would bring together the Chinese and non-Chinese citizens for a fun event and festival, giving birth to the Canadian International Dragon Boat Festival, now known as the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival. The original boats were loaned/rented to Toronto, Victoria, Seattle and Los Angeles and quickly helped spread the seeds for modern dragon boat racing throughout North America. Taiwanese style dragon boats have also been donated to sister cities in North America to help found the Portland Kaoshung Dragon Boat races in Portland Oregon, USA. [1]

Today, dragon boat racing (sport and festival) is among the fastest growing of team water sports, with tens of thousands of participants in various organisations and clubs in around 60 countries - most of which are IDBF members or applicants for Membership. The sport is recognised for the camaraderie, strength and endurance fostered amongst participants, and it has also become a very popular corporate and charitable sport.

Three of the biggest events outside Asia are the Toronto International Dragon Boat Festival held in Toronto, Ontario, the Alcan Dragon Boat Festival held in Vancouver, British Columbia and the Ottawa Dragon Boat Race Festival held in Ottawa, Ontario. Each Festival features 180 teams and are held on the weekend nearest the Summer Solstice in accordance with traditional Chinese dragon boat traditions.