Dragon boat festival back with a bang

David Schout

After a year off due to COVID-19, the Lunar New Year Dragon Boat Festival returned with a bang in 2022, with more than 500 paddlers enjoying a big day of fun and competition on February 20.

Hundreds of spectators also joined in the festivities on a warm afternoon at Victoria Harbour, including Lord Mayor Sally Capp who officially opened the event.

In an exciting first for the event, the day’s proceedings were captured and livestreamed on Kayo and Fox Sports, and those interested can still go back and watch the replay for free on the platform.

Various affiliated clubs and states competed in the day’s racing on the 200m course that ran between Central Pier and Victoria Harbour.

This included corporate teams from Melbourne, with IAG Purple Dragons claiming victory in that category, Jesse Ant Architects runner-up and the Hong Kong Students’ Association in third.

Dancers from the Chinese Youth Society of Melbourne also performed the dragon and lion dancing during the day.

“Fantastic to see more than 500 paddlers today gathered in Docklands for the Lunar New Year Dragon Boat Festival!” Cr Capp Tweeted on the day.

“I was lucky enough to bless the boats before racing commenced. Congratulations to all of the dedicated paddlers who are so committed to this spectacular sport!”

Dragon boat racing, which is powered by dedicated teams of rowers, has ancient Chinese origins and has evolved into an international sport across the world, with the boats being a common sight at Victoria Harbour.

The annual Lunar New Year event has become a staple on the Docklands calendar.

CEO of Dragon Boat Victoria Craig Ryan said planning for the 2023 Lunar New Event was “already under way”.

Community member keen to give the unique sport a try can sign up to a one-month “Dragon Pass” free trial to participate at any dragon boat club in Victoria •

For more information: dragonboatvictoria.com.au

 

Caption: Participants compete in the 2022 Lunar New Year Dragon Boat Festival at Victoria Harbour on February 20.

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