27 June 2007

Stanley Dragon Boat Races

On June 19th Hong Kong celebrated the 'Dragon Boat Festival.' It's a national holiday in Hong Kong, so everyone has the day off to head to the beach and watch the crazyness that is dragon-boat racing. I'm really not too sure how it worked, but there were many different races around the city/country/whatever it is - pretty much anywhere with water. We watched a few on tv before I headed off to Stanley Beach. The boats on tv had up to 50 people in them, they looked like they would sink! When I got to Stanley the boats were all 20 people per team, so it didn't look as insane, I was dissapointed that none of the teams sank. One boat did crash rather violently into another which made everyone on the beach applaud with laughter. Although it was a mostly fun event, you could tell some teams were a little more prepared and serious than the others.

The photographers were also out in full force. Many of them would stand in the water knee deep to get a few shots of the boats landing on shore after the race. How it worked was the boats raced directly onto the beach, so it was slight caos with 8-9 large boats 'crashing' into a sea of people all at once. There were 3 categories, Mens, Womens, and Mixed, with a seperate category for white dudes and asian dudes. I think this was mainly for weight difference. I didn't stay for the finals as it all started to look the same to me and I only went to get some photos and I was alone and melting in the sun.

I would really recommend this event high up on my list of things you have to do in Hong Kong if you're here in June. Next year I'm even going to try and sign up for a team.

> Photos Here <

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