Dragon Boat Practice

Thursday, June 9th, is a national holiday here in Taiwan; Dragon Boat Festival {check back Tuesday for more information on this very new-to-me holiday!}

The main attraction of this holiday {besides the fact that we get a 4 day weekend!} is watching the dragon boat races. Upon hearing this I was quite intrigued and initially wanted to watch the races...that is until I was offered to be IN the races...umm yes please!

My school has helped me find a local team that began practice about a month and half ago {I started a little late with only 4 weeks of practice left} and Clement, my poor substitute military guy from school, was tasked with taking me to practice the first couple nights and translating from Chinese to English how to row these massive boats.

Starting last Sunday {a week ago now} we transitioned to the actual river where the competition will take place and likewise rowing real boats instead of sitting in a cement box in the ground!

Dragon Boat Logistics 

16 rowers per team/boat
1 drummer per team/boat
1 flag catcher per team/boat
1 man in charge of steering per team/boat
1 coach per team/boat
170 meters - length from starting point to the flag
Countless - tubes of Tiger Balm, rolls of sports tape, knee pads, & neon orange life vests per team

Our initial training location; a cement "boat" with small moats of water for rowing

One of our teams 2 men's groups at the training site.

During my first night of my one-on-one training with the coach

Actual dragon boats we are practicing in/will use for the competition

Dragon butts! ;)