Dragon boat racing comes to Beaufort on Saturday, July 20th
Beaufort’s first-ever DragonBoat Race Day will be held Saturday, July 20th, opening day of the 58th Annual Beaufort Water Festival. Dragon boating is the world’s fastest growing water sport and Beaufort has its very own year-old DragonBoat Beaufort, a team formed of cancer survivors and their enthusiastic supporters.
Companies, organizations and individuals are invited to sponsor, back and/or form a team to compete when the field of 24 teams races in 250-meter heats of four boats throughout the afternoon. The exciting action takes place at the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park seawall with tents, teams in crazy costumes, music, food and fun.
Over 500 male and female competitors, plus their supporters and hundreds of cheering Beaufortonians, will be at DragonBoat Race Day. It’s going to be a fabulous festival for local and out-of-town teams showcasing Beaufort and adding to Water Festival excitement.
Dragon boats are 41-foot long “war canoes” with brightly painted dragon heads and tails; these Festivals, which are international in scope, honor a 2,500-year-old Chinese warrior and spiritual tradition. Twenty teammates sit two-by-two and paddle in sync to the beat of their drummer who is seated in the bow facing the team. Life jackets, paddles and a professional steersperson are provided for all entrants.
In-water practice sessions will be held for all teams the week of July 15-19 with emphasis on fun, technique and safety. Teams should have 24 members: 20 paddlers, 1 drummer and 3 alternates, all aged 14 and up.
Proceeds from DragonBoat Race Day will benefit both DragonBoat Beaufort’s cancer survivor mission and the Beaufort Water Festival’s mission.
DragonBoat Beaufort is an all volunteer, non-profit organization with two-prong cancer survivor mission: To provide cancer survivors the opportunity to heal and regain physical and psychological strength through the teamwork and competition of dragon boating. And to make one-on-one grants to local cancer patients with needs they are unable to meet and to provide support for individuals in treatment and in remission.
To sponsor and/or compete, please call the Race Day Infoline 843-575-5542 or log onto to www.dbb.kintera.org/raceday to see the exciting possibilities and unleash your inner dragon.