Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Dragon" Bottom

Yesterday morning, 35 area teams paddled their way down the Cumberland River in Nashville's first annual Dragon Boat Festival.

Dragon boat races originated in China over 2500 years ago and are held to commemorate the death of Chinese poet Qu Yuan. Legend has it that Yuan committed suicide by drowning, and, upon hearing the news, townspeople ran to their boats and beat the water with paddles to prevent fish from eating Yuan's body.

A team sport, dragon boat racing emphasizes the fact that no one person on the team is more important that the other. Dragon boats are very long, narrow boats and hold 22 paddlers, a caller, a drummer, and a steersman. The drumming provides a cadence to which the paddlers paddle while the caller - sitting in front and facing the paddlers - yells out voice commands. The steersman stands behind the drummer at the back of the boat and steers it. Each race consists of several boats sprinting several hundred meters from the start to finish line.

The Nashville Dragon Boat Festival benefitted the Cumberland River Compact (CRC) and the Tennessee Scenic River Association (TSRA). The CRC works to improve the Cumberland River's water quality by educating the public and promoting cooperation between government officials, builders, contractors, architects, everyday citizens, etc. An all volunteer organization, the TSRA monitors and cleans up Tenneesse's rivers and waterways and works to preserve and protect the same. In addition, TSRA members offer kayak, canoe, CPR, swiftwater rescue, and wilderness first aid.


don said...

nice picture. We have now a china festival here in Rotterdam. Hope you will like Amsterdam. It's a very nice city you must go to the new islands there. If there is time over Rotterdam is also a must seen....... :):)

Zsolt said...

ohh it must be a fun:) I would love to participate in an event like this:)

Anonymous said...

That should have been interesting. Your photo is very good.

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