Dragon boat racing comes to Rocketts Landing

Dragon Boat Festival in Richmond, Va. Richmonders just acquired one more great reason to love living in the River City: Dragon boat racing at Rocketts Landing.

View from Rocketts Landing of the Dragon Boat Festival in Richmond, Va. The heat was a factor as shade was hard to come by Saturday, but the Richmond Sports Backers teamed up with several sponsors to bring the first Dragon Boat Festival to the James River.  It was a charity event for the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation.

It was fun, active and brought many Richmonders out to a part of town that probably most had never seen. The crews mostly consisted of corporate teams from around Richmond, but there were also “ringer” teams from cities like Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte. Great for Rocketts Landing and the Shockoe Bottom area to have so many people having a great time.

What is Dragon Boat Racing? From the Great White North Dragon Boat Racing website:

Twenty paddlers move in unison, combining strength with teamwork in a boat whose elaborate design originates in ancient China… Dragon boats are 40-foot human-powered canoes decorated with ornate Chinese dragon heads. Led by the rhythmic beat of a drum, teams consisting of 20 synchronized paddlers, one drummer, and one steersperson race the canoes 500m down the river.

Dragon Boat Festival at Rocketts Landing in Richmond, Va. Teams were guaranteed three races and had plenty of time to relax and socialize in between heats. Several teams held organized cheers and calisthenics — obvious attempts to intimidate any challengers. I didn’t participate, but had many friends on a few teams. If it comes back next year, I will certainly find a team to join and do my best.

Dragon Boat Festival at Rocketts Landing in Richmond, Va. My kids enjoyed watching some of the dance teams, tai chi and karate exhibitions and explored the surroundings a little.

We finally got to take in the view of the James River and the Richmond skyline from deck at the Boat House at the top of the Rocketts Landing development.

Dragon Boat Festival at Rocketts Landing in Richmond, Va.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rob boyle on August 6, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Nice writeup, Phil. it was a fun event overall, but a bit too long – was there 7+ hours in the baking sun. if they could tighten up the schedule, it would be a more enjoyable event.


    • I hear you Rob, thanks. I’m sure you didn’t enjoy the hour inbetween heats, in the heat. Must have been all the success your H-F team was enjoying!


  2. […] teams from as far afield as Baltimore and South Carolina competed in the 20+ races. Phil Riggan has a great write-up with photos and Bart has some good words and photos from the festival as well. […]


  3. Posted by Annabelle52 on July 31, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    When is the next event for dragon boat racing? This sounds fun and I am sorry I missed it!


  4. I did a post on the Dragon Boats too — was there briefly. I was surprised at the turnout — more people than I expected to see!


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