SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – One of the largest Dragon Boat Festivals outside of Asia happens right here in the Bay Area.
The annual San Francisco Bay Area Dragon Boat Festival is coming up September 17th and 18th on Treasure Island and is expecting over 80,000 attendees throughout the weekend.
Dragon Boat Racing involves a 45-foot long boat with a dragon head, scales on each side, and a tail, and is powered by a team of 22 people.
Hans Wu, California Dragon Boat Association Race Director, calls it the “ultimate team sport because it involves so many people working towards the same goal.”
The sport has gained some exposure recently on The Bachelorette and the newlywed royal couple Prince William and Kate Middleton paddled in a dragon boat in Canada as well.
KCBS’ Connie C. Kim talks to Hans Wu, California Dragon Boat Association Race Director:
Dragon boat racing has its roots in Chinese tradition dating back over 2,000 years.
In terms of training and who could get involved, Wu describes it as a very inclusive sport for people of all experiences, even with no athletic background. Anyone can form a team and get involved.And it’s a beautiful way to spend the day out on the water, Wu adds.
The California Dragon Boat Association has been around since 1996 and organizes one of the largest competitive dragon boat festivals in the United States and overseas and has the largest high school and college dragon boat program in the nation.
This year, more than 125 dragon boat teams from all over the world (including Germany, Holland, and Canada), corporate teams, nonprofit teams, and high school teams will participate in the race. That’s 3,500 dragon boat paddlers racing a 500 and 300 meter course. Besides the dragon boat race, enjoy arts and crafts, rock climbing, cultural entertainment and music, and food. To learn more about the San Francisco Bay Area Dragon Boat Festival happening September 17th and 18th on Treasure Island, San Francisco, go to www.sfdragonboat.com.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)