Dragon boat racing Sport

Dragon boats a Macau tradition

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the Jul/Aug 2010 issue of World Gaming magazine.

Over 25 countries throughout the world have embraced the ancient form of Chinese transportation and have transformed it into an exciting sport that is perfect for fitness, fun, and most importantly, one hell of a party.

Nam Van lake in Macau hosted the famous Macau Dragon Boat Festival which is one of the highlights of the Macau entertainment calendar. There are different sized dragon boats all over the world but the Macau boats are 10 metres in length and are manned by a crew of 20 paddlers.

The Macau Sports Development Board and the Macau Dragon Boat Association have teamed up to put on this fantastic festival which ran from June 12 to 16. There are a myriad of different classes and race distances which provide plenty of entertainment for spectator and competitor alike. The women’s event is always a close affair and it’s great to see the casino teams go at it head to head. The late mail we received just before going to press suggested the Galaxy team had been training hard and were the team to beat.

The festival also has a wonderful history. It is held in honour of Wat Yuen, who was either a poet or a court advisor (depending on who you listen to) in the third century BC. He drowned himself in an act of defiance to protest against the emperor’s decision to go to war. The legend says the local people took to the water in their boats to protect his body being eaten by the fish. Let’s hope that no one gets eaten by the fish this year.

The World Gaming team will be covering the event.