Victor Dragons and other dragon boat racing clubs from around the state celebrated the official opening of the Dragon Boat racing season on Sunday, September 17, with a Blessing of Boats and Dotting of Eyes ceremony, followed by a day of racing at West Lakes.
The morning began with the arrival of monks from the SA Zhu-Lin Buddhist Association along with the Mayors of Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide Enfield Councils, councillors and members of the Dragon Boats SA (DBSA) Board.
The history of dragon boat racing dates back to 400BC, when the dragon was revered as a symbol of power, courage, and excellence in Chinese culture.
This history is still acknowledged today.
The ceremony of “dotting the eyes” by Buddhist monks involves blessing the boats and adding a dot of paint to the eyes of the ornately carved dragon’s head at the bow of each boat, symbolising waking the dragon for the new season.
Following the formalities, teams of 10 paddlers plus sweep and drummer competed in 200 metre races in sunny, but blustery conditions.
Victor Dragons entered a B Grade Mixed team as well as B Grade Women, paddling in a total of eight races during the morning.
Although conditions were not conducive to improving on previous race times the teams did well and were particularly proud of the effort and commitment shown by new paddlers, who had not previously been involved in competitions.
The Women’s team were successful in bringing home a trophy.
Regattas such as this are a great way to experience the excitement of racing and get to know paddlers from Adelaide and other country regions.
Victor Dragons regularly paddle on the Lake at Encounter Bay and welcome new paddlers to four free come-and-try sessions before deciding whether to become regular paddlers.
The sport is suitable for all ages and fitness levels and provides opportunity for fun, social interaction, and competition for those who wish to be involved.
For further information on the Victor Dragons and how to become involved contact 0419 864 611.