Dragon Boat Regatta Coming To Carolina Beach September 18th and 19th

Dragon Boat Regatta Coming To Carolina Beach September 18th and 19th Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 05 August 2015 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The 3rd Annual Dragon Boat Regatta will take place in Carolina Beach on September 18th and 19th in the yacht basin of Myrtle Grove Sound.
Last year 17 teams competed for awards ranging from fastest team to most spirited and best costume by racing colorful 45-foot boats that resemble a canoe.
The event is organized by the Island Men organization to help benefit Step Up For Soldiers.
There will be racing on the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin, a protected area of water lined with beach homes, condos and marinas on a 300m race course along the shore. Community teams will be racing along with a few club teams from around the region.
Each boat is manned by a crew of 20 people plus a "Steersman" at the stern of the boat and a drummer who beats a drum to set the pace for paddling.
According to the event website at http://www.carolinabeachdragonboat.com, on Friday Evening at 6:30PM they invite teams, family and friends to attend a “Kickoff Party” at the Carolina Beach Municipal Marina. There will be live entertainment, refreshments, a parade and introduction of the teams with information on the event rules.
Race Day is set for Saturday, September 19th with preliminary Qualifying Races beginning at 8:30 AM with the Final Heats starting at 1:30 PM.  Teams will be competing for trophies with awards for the Fastest time, Slowest time, Most Spirited team, Best Costumes, Match Race Winners and more.  The “Awards Ceremony and Celebration Party “will begin at 6 PM on Saturday evening at the Marina.
Teams can raise money for their registration just like a charity walk or run where each member of a team raises $50 to compete.  Or a team can choose to secure a corporate sponsor.  Team registration is $1,000.00 per boat which includes up to 25 participants. All money must be paid with registration prior to September 15th.
Last year the event raised over $12,000 for Step Up For Soldiers.
Registration is available on their website at http://www.carolinabeachdragonboat.com
Step Up For Soldiers works to provide disabled veterans who experienced loss of limb and mobility problems with the resources necessary to adjust in a post-war environment. As a result of the events and fundraisers, sponsored by Step Up For Soldiers, we strive to not only enhance their lives and those of their families but also help to restore their confidence and positive self image.  For more information visit: www.stepupforsoldiers.org
History of Dragon Boat Races
With a history of more than 2,500 years, the sport of dragon boating originated in ancient China.  The legends include warring states, radical politics and fierce loyalty and passion written poetically by one man - Qu Yuan.  This man was exiled from the land that he loved, and in turn committed suicide in the Miluo River in a final form of protest against the corruption of his era.  During an attempt to save Qu Yuan, the locals took to the river in their fishing boats, splashing their paddles to keep the water demons and evil spirits away.
Modern day dragon boating has few elements to this ancient tale remaining.  However, it has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport, bringing together millions across the globe annually.  Festivals with traditional Asian flare and culture are commonplace alongside a dragon boat race in recent years.  High level competitions have also been organized since the mid 1970s. 
But the sport's growth has been most commonly found at the grassroots level.  Dragon boating has become an extremely popular vehicle for fundraising, and tool for corporate team building. 
Local communities combine these two concepts to breath new life into their waterfront areas, and to stimulate their local economy.
Teams are formed with 18-25 people from all walks of life.  Any age, size, ability and gender can learn to paddle on a dragon boat team. 
20 paddlers are seated in 10 rows of 2 with a drummer sitting in the bow, facing the paddlers.  The paddler's job is to paddle in unison with the entire team. 
The drummer's job is to beat the drum in sync with the paddlers and to motivate their team to the finish line.  A steersperson (provided by the festival) stands in the stern of the boat, guiding the boat straight down the race course with a 10-foot oar.
Last Year's Results:
Annual Division Winners were as follows:  Division A Winners “Organized Chaos” all the way from Charlotte and posted a new course record time 1:18.02! Division B Winners - Gibby's Dock and Dine ”Grinders.” Division C Winners - Coldwell Banker- SeaCoast Realty “SeaCoasters.”  Division D Winners - Cut N Up Hair Salon “Oars and Strokers.” All Women's Division Winners “One World Dragons” Charlotte Club Team. Most Spirited Award - AIC Recycling “Eye of the Tiger.” Best Costumes - Coldwell Banker SeaCoast Realty “SeaCoasters.”  Lastly the No Person Overboard Award was given to “The Island Women.”

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