The clear blue waters of Goodman’s Bay, Nassau, will host the 2nd Annual Dragon Boat Festival on the 30th of September. After the success of the first event last year, where 21 teams participated, the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation issued a joint statement with The Bahamas Chinese Dragon Boat Association.
This year’s festival will be held on the 30th of September and the 1st of October according to the statement which went on to read, “Building on the resounding success of the Inaugural Bahamas Dragon Boat Festival held in August 2022, this year’s event promises to be even more exhilarating and engaging.”
“The organizers, who recently attended the Pan American Club Crew Championships in Panama, have extended invitations to nearly 90 dragon boat teams from various countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago, all of whom have expressed keen interest in participating in The Bahamas’ second edition of the Dragon Boat Festival.”
The sport, which originated in ancient China, is now being called “the fastest growing water sport in the world” by the organizers.
Last year 21 teams participated in the event in which large canoe like dragon boats, with ornately carved dragonheads and tails, are used to race between teams over 200m, 500m or more. Each team includes 10 paddlers, 1 drummer, 1 helmsperson and 2 reserves.
The paddlers sit in pairs and row in sync with the beats and pace given by the drummer, while the helmsperson makes sure the boat is moves in the correct direction.
“Set against our crystal blue waters, the Dragon Boat Festival symbolizes a vibrant fusion of cultures, competition, and camaraderie.” said Director General Latia Duncombe of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation.
“It is a celebration of our Chinese-Bahamian community but also an invitation for visitors to delve into the richness of Bahamian heritage found on our shores. As the global teams gather, we revel in tradition, sportsmanship, and the allure of our islands.”
The races are held in multiple competitive categories including Under 18, Under 24, Breast Cancer Survivors, All Cancer Survivors, Open, and Seniors.
The proceedings from this event will be donated to the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, making this exciting event even more appealing. Individual entries will also be accepted for paddlers who wish to join a team to participate in the event.