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Lets Tame The Dragons' Flames
Dragons are mythical creatures that have an ugly, vicious image, with fangs, wings and horns, breathing fire and torturing people. However, they have been revered in China, where they are known to bring wealth and long life, and are seen commonly in Chinese paintings and carvings. Dragon boat festivals have arisen from ancient Chinese legends and racing these dragon headed boats is a centuries old water sport.
Though this sport originated in eastern Asia, it has spread world over and even made it to the Olympics. It is a favourite water sport among Australians too and in Melbourne the host to this event is none other than our very own Yarra River.
Dragon boat races are an unusual spectacle, each boat being paddled by 20 rowers in perfect synchronization. The boat has a decorated dragon head that supposedly brings good luck. Each boat has a drummer beating the drums, which provides exact rhythm to the paddlers. This indeed gives a unique and dramatic feel to the ceremony.
Training sessions take place every Saturday at Docklands, 9.30 am, but Saturday the 30th November will be an Open Day with free training and fun racing. As a part of this exciting event, anybody can come and learn paddling. Newbies must arrive a little early to get acquainted with basic safety tips. If you like this sport, you are welcome to take two more sessions and then, as per your fitness level, you might even make it onto the team.
Tea/coffee and refreshments will be provided later to give some leisure time and opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
Anybody can come regardless of age, minimum age limit being 12 years (and below 18 must still be accompanied by an adult). Wear non-slip footwear (or you can go barefoot), comfortable clothes, adequate sun barriers, and a light jacket on cooler days. You must carry water bottle, towel and a change of clothes.
So get ready to jump on board and build a super team to tame the dragons. Whether you take part in the sport or just watch the colourful race, the spectacle would surely give your adrenaline a rush.