Rhythmic beats of drums, heart-pounding action and thunderous roars will emerge in Hong Kong for three days as part of the 10th annual Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Carnival (June 14 – 16).
Organized by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) in partnership with the Hong Kong China Dragon Boat Association (HKCDBA), the dragon boat races will be held on Victoria Harbour, attracting more than 4,500 paddlers from 165 local and international teams. In addition to the spirited competition, the event will feature local cuisine, cultural entertainment, live music, a beer garden, and an artificial sandy beach for the ultimate summertime experience.
Representing the United States is the Lao Buddhist Temple of Denver Dragon Boat Club, led by Team Captain Jamie Prakhine. The team is comprised of seasoned competitors, having earned 11 gold medals since 2005 at the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. As the team head’s to Hong Kong, Prakhine looks forward to bringing the club to the world stage at this year’s races.
“It is an honor for our organization to participate in the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races and represent the United States,” said Team Captain Prakhine. “Allowing us to share this storied sport with new audiences around the world is quite an experience, not to mention the opportunity for our team to sample the local culture and diverse cuisine of Hong Kong.”
Competing on international waters for the very first time, the Lao Buddhist Temple of Denver Dragon Boat Club travels to Hong Kong with 21 paddlers, ready to compete in the internationally acclaimed event.
While dragon boat racing is practiced throughout the world, Hong Kong is the world’s first to organize invitation races, and has been hosting the event since 2010 in promotion of the sport. A highlight of the festival is the powerful dragon boats racing in a colorful spectacle, set against the iconic view of Victoria Harbour.
The dragon boat, a long canoe carved with a decorative dragon head and tail and painted with totems, embodies the venerable creature in Chinese mythology, and measures more than 32 feet long while carrying a crew of 20-22 paddlers. Participants train extensively for the competition, racing for honor and glory associated with the centuries old event. Sitting two across, with a steersman at the back and a drummer at the front, the paddlers race to reach the finishing line, guided by the rhythmic beat of the drums.
For more information about the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Carnival, please visit the HKTB’s website: www.DiscoverHongKong.com/DragonBoat.