Friday, January 27, 2012

"Chinese Dragon Boats," at the Jersey Shore!

Chinese Dragon Boat (bow)
Chinese Dragon Boats provide a very ancient mode of racing competition; but are a very new addition to the Jersey Shore. 

In fact, I first heard of these races from a fellow innkeeper who belongs to a woman's team in a nearby community.  A few weeks ago, a local news article announced the formation of a Dragon Boat team in Cape May!  So, time to check out this amazing water sport! 

Apparently, Dragon Boat Racing originated in China at about the same time as the ancient Olympic games in Greece.  With the Olympiad, these races share "...aspects of religious observance and community celebration along with competition."

Races take place in long, narrow boats decorated in brilliant colors, the bow of which is crowned with a dragon's head - of course!  They are propelled through the water by a team of synchronized rowers.  The standard crew of a contemporary dragon boat is 22 - 20 paddlers in pairs facing toward the bow of the boat, 1 drummer or caller at the bow facing toward the paddlers, and 1 sweep at the stern of the boat to steer or guide the craft.

I imagine the races are both colorful and very exciting.  Maybe during your next Ocean City vacation, we'll be able to tell you where to watch a Chinese Dragon Boat race - imagine that!

INNsider Tips:
For additional information about Dragon Boat Racing Wikipedia or an article about local racing teams.

Carol & Gus, Innkeepers
Scarborough Inn
an Ocean City NJ Bed and Breakfast

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