Dragon boat racing originated in China over 2,000 years ago, and has risen to become one of the most popular water sports in the world. Every two years nations meet on the water to see who is best in the world. No World Championship event is ever the same. There are always surprises, upsets, and lots of incredible paddling to awe and inspire spectators.
Races are typically held in four distances. 200m, 500m and 1000m events are on a straight course, with 4-8 boat heats in individual lanes. The longest race, 2000m, is typically on an oval 500m course with turns, and boats jostle for right of way in a single lane.
Vermont may be a long way from China, but conditions for dragon boat racing here are superb. There is a huge paddling community just north of Burlington, where we practice, particularly in Montreal. In the USA, we have plenty of competition in the Northeast — teams from Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC keep us on our toes. And we get to meet teams from further afield every year at US National Championships.