KDBA team had first competed in Shanghai International Dragon Boat Festival's Invitational Racing Competiton on October 14th. It had received big attention from the media and general population alike for this was the first time that KDBA have competed in an international racing competition.
'Ra-tat-tat, the dragon's emerging.'
The dragon boat comes to life as it floats across the starting line. Massive waves breaks on to the boat as the paddlers row away vigorously. The comotion created by the paddlers reminisce that of the strong wings of a dragon dashing across water. This is the reason why people compare dragon boat racing to a dragon penetrating the water upwards to heaven. The crowd and crew all go wild as they hear the beat of the drums and the race kicks off.
"We didn't know it would get this exciting!" exclaimed the members of KDBA team participating for the first time at an international dragon boat racing competition this year at Shanghai International Dragon Boat Festival being held in the city of Chingfu from October 15th to the 18th.
The festival is its first kind to hold a dragon dance competition along with dragon boat racing. There are total of 13 teams representing 10 nations with more than 500 crew members participating in this international event.
There's a distinguishing feature about dragon boat racing that you won't find in any other sports. It's an exotic game where you can get into the atmospheric Chinese ethnic vibe with its drum beats along with the wild excitement of anticipating in a race. It's enough to make one to join in even if he/she's not a Chinese. Currently, there are 42 members in the international dragon boat association and 13 members in the asian dragon boat association. There are more than several thousands of dragon boat teams around the world in Europe, Asia and America. Plus there are more than 10 internatitional competitions being held each year. There's a great anticipation awaited for next year, the year of the dragon, where in Japan's Aoyi, there will be the most biggest dragon boat festival to date.
But in the case of Korea, dragon boat is not widely recognized yet. KDBA have been only organized this year and there are still more works to be done. There are no official racing team organized yet. Students from Yong In University had stepped in, in the last minute, to participate in the race in Shanghai. Korean team didn't make it on to semi-finals due to lack of experience.
According to Lee Sung-su, the president of KDBA, "We hope to develop Han River into an adequate dragon boat racing water for it is wide enough and it could draw in tons of crowds for Seoul's a very populous city. We hope to become a world leading dragon boat competition site as well as the best dragon boat racing team."
In this year's Shanghai International Dragon Boat Fest, the European Union team made up of Denmark, Sweden and Germany took the first place in the race, with American team from California on the second place. Teams from Southeastern Asain countries all placed high in the competition.