Dragon crews hone skills to dash on Huangyang River

The annual Dragon Boat Cultural Festival as a prelude to the 5th Doumen Sports Festival will see 51 teams from Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao compete on the Huangyang River on May 13 for the upcoming holiday season.

Dragon Boat Festival (Duanwu Jie), falls on May 30 this year, although races can be held at any time in the spring and early summer. China will have an official three-day holiday beginning Sunday, May 28.

The cultural and sports exchange event of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area will break the record number of race teams. There also will be greater integration of diverse cultural elements. 

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Baiteng Lake Aquatic Sports Training Base

Boasting nine more participating teams than last year, the festival will see more than 1,500 contestants within 21 teams in the Open, 22 in the Zhuhai, and eight in the Youth groups. Twenty-five teams come from Doumen District and the oarsmen are between 9 and 60 years old. Moreover, six teams in the Open Group once won rankings in the prestigious China Longzhou (Dragon Boat) Tournament, which was held this year in April in Hunan Province.

According to an official from the Doumen District Sports Bureau, the increased number of teams and improved quality guarantees a high level and excellence of the races. This, he said, will further promote the festival brand as a virtuous circle.

The rule this year will follow that of the China Longzhou Tournament. The youngsters will compete in the 100-m straightway track in small dragon boats, while the other two adult groups will compete in the 600-m track in standard boats. The organizer will set up an assembly-type pier spanning over 60 m to facilitate quick entry of contestants to the competition site.

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Pre-season training 

More than 300 performers will show up on site in 11 programs such as dragon and lion dances, singing and dancing, sports skills, and ensemble of traditional instruments. Besides cultural and sports performances, there will be a photography competition and picture exhibition. Dragon and lion dances will create an exciting atmosphere in the whole process.    

The organizer will also arrange 26 roast pigs and Chinese distillated spirits both weighing 20 kg each as prizes with profound traditional cultural traits. The top 10 teams in the Open and Zhuhai groups can obtain one pig and one pot of white spirits respectively, and the top six teams in the Youth Group will each receive a roast pig.

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Contestants getting in sync [Photos by Zhang Zhou / Zhuhai Daily]

All the adult teams that complete can win 5,000 yuan ($725) each as the consolation prize, and the amount for youth teams is 3,000 yuan ($435). The leading 10 in the two adult groups and top six in the Youth Group will be awarded more bonuses contingent upon their rankings. Bonuses for the top three teams in the Open and Zhuhai groups are 20,000 yuan ($2,900), 15,000 yuan ($2,175) and 13,000 yuan ($1,885) respectively while those for the Youth Group are 10,000 yuan ($1,450), 8,000 yuan ($1,160) and 6,000 yuan ($870). 

(www.cityofzhuhai.com)

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