guam-dragon-boat-festival

The 2016 Guam Thanksgiving Day Dragon Boat Festival is happening on November 18-20, 2016 at Matapang Beach in Tumon, Guam. Thanks to Mindset Events and Production, a Philippine Organization, in partnership with the Guam ACES (Athletes, Communities, Educators, Students) Incorporated, a Non-Profit Organization based in Tamuning, Guam, with the prime purpose of instituting programs for the development of athletes, communities, educators and students in Guam and other neighboring countries for bringing this event to life.

Dragon boating, the second fastest growing sport in the world is on its way to becoming firmly established as a recreational and competitive team sport in Guam. For the past years, Guam held races for the locals and have participated in international events but never hosted one. Races like Commemorative 9/11 Dragon Boat Race brings dragon boat clubs from Guam as a form of recreation and get together of enthusiasts.

The 1st Thanksgiving Day Dragon Boat Festival will comply with IDBF Competition Regulations and will be under the IDBF Rules of Racing and is sanctioned by the Guam Dragon Boat Federation. Guam Dragon Boat Federation will provide technical support and will be inviting the local teams. You may contact Mr. Gordon T.C. Chu, Honorary Life President of the Guam Dragon Boat Federation at + 1 671 6464410 and e-mail at Gordon_Chu@udcguam.com for any clarifications.

Event – 300 m and 500 m
1 Men’s Open – 22 Racers
2 Women’s Open – 22 Racers
3 Mixed – 22 Racers
4 Men’s Open – 12 Racers
5 Women’s Open – 12 Racers
6 Mixed – 12 Racers
7 Junior U23 – 22 Racers
8 Junior U23 Mixed – 12 Racers

Division
Men’s / Women’s Open –There are no restrictions on competitor’s age;
Junior Under 23 – Aged 12 years but under 23 years.

Racing Class
Men – for male crews only including the Drummer and Steerer;
Women – for female crews only
Mixed – 22 Racers: minimum of eight (8) female Paddlers / 12 Racers: minimum of four (4) female paddlers

Distance
300 & 500-meter straight course
Boat – standard boat for all categories.

No. of Competitors:
22 Racers – Maximum 26 competitors
20 Paddlers
1 Drummer
1 Steerer
2 Reserves
1 Team Leader
1 Team Manager

12 Racers – Maximum 16 competitors
10 Paddlers
1 Drummer
1 Steerer
2 Reserves
1 Team Leader
1 Team Manager

Schedule of Events
18th November 2016
Banquet for Paddlers

19th November 2016
Blessing of the Boats
Dotting of the Eye Ceremony
Dragon & Lion Dance
Parade of Teams
Opening Ceremony
Dragon Boat Racing

20th November 2016
Dragon Boat Racing
Closing of Festival & Awarding of prizes

Over 200 paddlers are participating in this event coming from at least five international teams and three local teams.

If you can’t make it to Guam, a similar dragon boat race is happening in Puerto Princesa, Philippines on November 11-12, 2016. This is also presented by the same organizing committee for the Guam Dragon Boat Festival.

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Dragon boat racing go back over 2,000 years to the southern provinces of China. Legend has it that Qu Yuan, a scholar and adviser to the emperor of the Chu Kingdom, jumped into the Mei Lo (Mi Luo) River in despair and protested government corruption. Local fishermen raced out in their boats to save him. They beat drums and pounded their paddles on the river’s waters and threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river to distract the water dragons and keep them from eating from Qu Yuan’s body.

Dragon boating evolved from the reenactment of this legend at annual festivals. Today, Dragon boating is the second fastest growing international team water sport. Each year, race festivals are held around the world in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States. The enthusiasm, good cause and media attention are all great marketing opportunities. Source: http://www.chinahighlights.com/festivals/dragon-boat-festival.htm for “Dragon Boating Legend” information.

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