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Dragon Boat Festival



Fuse Project’s Third Annual Dragon Boat Festival is set for June 11, 2016 at USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park!


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Once you hear about dragon boat racing and become involved in this world of sport, community and fun, there is no turning back from it. There is much more to it than a great day on the water. There are different and interesting ways to experience the sport for both team members and spectators. Whether you’ve paddled in a festival or regatta, or you paddle regularly in a dragon boat, you feel connected to it. That’s the beauty of it - from the moment you pick up a paddle, you’ll love dragon boat racing!

Hong Kong style dragon boats are 46-feet long, with 10 seats and 20 people. A drum seat arranged above the first two paddlers (seated beside each other) holds a drummer - you want the smallest, loudest, most rhythmic person you can find. A provided steerer guides the boat with the steering oar in back. These 22 people make up a dragon boat team. The stroke is unlike any other (the most similar is outrigger canoe) and taught in practice.

“It’s the ride of your life.”

-Emily Breeding, long-time dragon boat paddler


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With origins dating back 2,300 years, dragon boat racing is the most fun, unique cultural event featuring adrenaline-pumping action. Teams race in authentic 46-foot long Hong Kong style dragon boats. They rave about the excitement, friendly competition and community spirit surrounding the sport. All ages, skill levels and physiques perfect their stroke and timing for the ultimate teamwork experience!

Every paddler plays a specific role. They sit next to each other, and against the gunnel to balance the boat as they paddle. The strokers occupy the front three seats of the boat, while the fourth seat is a transition place where, ideally, the paddlers have rhythm and power. Then, seats four, five, and six consist of the engine room, where the largest and strongest team members sit. The last four rows of a dragon boat are filled with strong paddlers who are also typically shorter and able to paddle faster. Paddlers at this location in the dragon boat are considered rockets, because the water is moving faster to them, from the first 14 seats since they’re scooping water back. The paddlers are taught to watch up the middle of the boat and two seats across - when that paddler has his or her paddle up in the air, ready to engage the water, it’s the cue for the person watching to get his or her paddle up, as well. While the drummer plays keeps the rhythm for most of the boat, it can be difficult to hear on race day. It’s also a very visual sport, and if everyone is watching the right person, magic absolutely can happen in a dragon boat. Teams have to follow the strategy, and then execute: the team members in the front must paddler in perfect timing as an example for the back half of the boat. When the power from the middle is mixed with the speed and capabilities of the athletes in the back, a dragon boat can glide quickly through the water like a bullet.

Teams feel a connection to the racing. They bond to each other. They feel connected to the experience.


Festival starts at 8 AM!

Click HERE for a Map of the 2016 Dragon Boat Festival! Click HERE for the 2015 schedule of the Dragon Boat Races!

Your team to-do list:

-Recruit at least 10 rowers in order to form your team online here.

-Use your team page to recruit the remaining rowers you need to have a full team (20 rowers and 1 steerer). Having 2-3 alternates is a good idea.

-Personalize your page with pictures and videos.

-Let your friends and family know with the email options on your page.

-Fundraise to meet your team donation requirement ($2,000 for community team, $2,250 for corporate team) using your great team page.

-Sign-up for your hour-long practice session that will take place between June 7-10. All teams are strongly encouraged to participate in a practice session.

-Get ready to have a blast on the water for a great cause on Saturday, June 11th, 2016 at USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park!


More info: or 251-377-3484.