Dragon Boat Races Return To Lewes

The Dragon Boat races are coming back to Lewes, Delaware. Sussex Academy is reviving these races, there haven’t been any for two years. It is intense if you are a paddler and I was in 2014. My arms still hurt thinking about that day.

Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
Dragon Boat racing can be tough and the competition is fierce.

Teams were made up of area businesses and organizations, the first year I paddled with the Cape Gazette’s team was 2104. If you want to know just how out of shape you are paddle a dragon boat. The races are fast and intense. The paddling is not like paddling a canoe, SUP, or kayak. There is a process. You lean forward, dig your paddle in vertical and pull water as you pull back with your shoulders and not move the paddle. Lift the paddle out of the water, and then you start all over again. It is a work out to say the least, mentally as much as physically. It is hard to keep the rhythm and easy to lose your pace.

Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
Paddling a dragon boat is not an easy task, you find out real fast how out of shape you really are

While all that padding is going on your drummer is banging that drum and yelling out a rhythm. This is a great team building exercise for a business. It is also a great chance to splash water on everyone you work with, while one of you is yelling at everyone. Which makes it a great event for restaurant kitchen staff. Good times!

Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
Drummers guiding the paddlers keep time beating a drum and a lot f yelling. The rhythm is key to keep the speed

Due to the time of year it is most likely going to be hot, and crowded. it is August, our hottest month of the year. There were thousands at the events in the past, I would think this will draw a larger crowd, so get there early, parking will be scarce, it was in September, In the past the Dragon Boat Races were held in the off season.

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Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
Dragon Boat racers loaded into the boats in front of Canal Front park in 2014

We might put together a team this year and try to compete. Not sure how well my casting friends can transfer that energy to paddling. It is pretty intense. With twenty people paddling, and a drummer yelling all the time. The races are heats and then there are the final rounds. Teams traditionally warmed up between heats with naps and beer, my crew can handle that part hands down. I doubt that will change much this year. See you at the Dragon Boat Races on August 27th to the 30th, the weekend before Labor Day weekend .

Fish On!
Rich King

Paddling with the Cape Gazette crew
Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races
Steersman from Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing guide the dragon boats the teams do the paddling
Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
The crowd in 2013 for the first Dragon Boat Festival was large for September
Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
The dragon boat races are about 500 yards and it is some intense paddling
Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, lewes canal, delaware, sussex academy, dragon boat races, canal front park
Dragon boats will run neck and neck for that 500 yards or pull ahead fast it is a fast course.

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