The 10th annual IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championship is happening this Wednesday, Aug. 3 through Aug. 8th on Seddon Channel in downtown Tampa. Teams from more than 20 countries, including the USA, Canada, Russia, China, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago are competing.

A dragon boat is a team paddling boat originally made in the Pearl River region of southern China of teak. It is believed that were first built in southern central China more than 2,500 years ago, in Dongting Lake and the Chang Jiang River (or Yangtze River).  Dragon boat racing started as the annual water festival celebrating the summer rice planting. During competition events, dragon boats are decorative with Chinese dragon heads and tails and drums.
Here’s the schedule:

Tuesday 2 August IDBF (International Dragon Boat Federation) Race Officials exam
Tuesday 2 August Opening Ceremony 7-9 pm in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Wednesday 3 August 2000m Racing – Standard Boat all Classes
Thursday 4 August 1000m Races – Standard Boat Divisions Open and Mixed Classes and Premier Women.
Friday 5 August 500m Racing – Standard & Small Boats – Mixed.
Saturday 6 August 200m Racing – Standard & Small Boats All Classes
Sunday 7 August 500m Racing – Standard & Small Boats Open & Women’s Classes
Sunday 7 August World Championships Celebration Dinner 6-9 pm at Tampa Convention Center
Monday 8 August IDBF Members’ Congress – Crews Depart

The course runs south to north along Seddon Channel between Harbour Island and Davis Islands.

Eight paddlers from the Tampa Bay area will be competing for Team USA in races ranging from 200 meters to 2,000 meters.  Tampa Bay area members and the local teams they paddle for include: Phil Barringer (team TECO); Karol Batansky (Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club); Pam Korotky (Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club); Wayne Henriquez (team TECO); Hildren Francis (Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club); Dan Harris (team TECO); Kim Caruso (team TECO); and Patsy Madrazo (Tampa Bay Paddling Club).

Free for spectators, for more info go to http://www.tampabaydragonboats.com/

2012 World Club Crew Championship in Hong Kong, China

2013 World Dragon Boat Racing Championships in Teheran, Iran

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