The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

Posted: Jun 10 2015Last Updated: Jun 10 2015
This Dragon Boat Season, is a proud sponsor of the German Dragons. consultant and team member Nina Schulte-Mattler shares her insider perspective about training, teamwork and the races.

Updates from German Dragons:

We had a great season with three packed race days.
In Lamma we had our season’s warm up. Our new team members enjoyed their first race experiences on a hot and sunny day.
In Mui Wo the weather was mixed but more sun than rain. In the races we competed a bit mixed as well but still reached the finals and we ended up as 3rd runner-up in the Gold Bowl. Not too bad after all.
The race in Discovery Bay was our masterpiece. We raced the best time since we started three years ago and we are very proud that we reached the Cup Final. Together with the other six best teams like Lantau Boat Club A, Team Mushu (Disney Land) and Lamma Dragons A, we competed in front of a big crowd of spectators in a very tough final race and finished in 6th place. Needless to say that we are very proud to compete with the very best teams.
Click here to watch German Dragons' best race this year!

The Dragon Boat Festival, also known as the Tuen Ng Festival is my favorite traditional event and statutory holiday in Hong Kong. Taking place on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month, normally in June, this well-known event is famous for its energetic and colorful dragon boat races, where teams of paddlers race long narrow boats to the finish line, in time with the steady beat of drums. 
On the day of the Festival, races are held by several Dragon Boat Associations throughout the territory. The most popular sites for spectators include:
Stanley, Aberdeen, Sai Kung, Cheung Chau, Tai O and Discovery Bay.
As a resident of Discovery Bay and being of German heritage, I joined the fierce “German Dragons” for my second season to participate in the Discovery Bay Race & Carnival. 
Our team consists of 28 mostly German paddlers and with 14 women and 14 men, qualifying us for the mixed category. While most of us have been dragon boating before, eight are first timers. Since it takes 20 paddlers to fill the boat plus a drummer and a helm, this year we have 8 spares, which is fantastic as we have a few races to battle so everyone will have the opportunity to paddle for at least two races.
Training plans vary according to ambition and eagerness. While only a very few teams train all year round, most teams see it as a seasonal sport with training sessions starting as early as February. If you are a keen joiner this is the time to head to the waters and find your team! 
To become a successful team of paddlers on race day requires many hours of training. Ours started in February and includes one, one-and-a-half hour session on the water per week. This increases to two sessions per week for the last month or so. 
On the day around 50 dragon boat teams compete against each other and “roar” on a race distance of 420metres into Tai Pak Bay towards the beach.
There are mainly three parts to a race: An explosive start to lift the boat out of the water, followed by a “ready and reach” transition to a sustainable middle section or “chuck” and then an acceleration “burst” towards the finish line. 
At the beginning of the season the practice on water covers all elements of the race, which later evolve into trainings season which will put together all three parts into a full race sequence. 
Further focus is on technique, engaging the core muscles to maximize the power in the stroke, holding the paddle at the right angle and synchronizing timing of the stroke throughout the team for the full duration of the race. 
Luckily we have managed to engage two very experienced Dragon Boat paddlers as our coaches. One coach, equipped with a GPS watch and go-pro camera, is mostly on the helm and responsible for steering the boat during our training sessions, providing valuable comments on our speed and improvement of our technique. 
The second coach observes our team from his kayak and is mainly concentrating on our timing and transitioning from one sequence of the race to the next.
The most important goal for the team is TIMING! Just one paddler out of sync can make the difference between finishing first or last … you don’t want to be that one paddler.
So it’s best to join all training sessions, listen attentively to your instructors and keep your “eyes in the boat”, follow the rhythm of the paddlers in front of you and listen to the beat of the drum. 
Dragon boating can be pursued by everyone and anyone of all abilities and at every level of competition. Team spirit varies from very serious and very ambitious to a just social, fun team with the main focus on funny dress-ups and great after race parties.
I would categorize our team as social and serious and FUN. I appreciate all efforts put in by each team member to give it all for a successful race. But I also cannot wait for the party afterwards and I am very hopeful that we have a good reason to celebrate hard.
Dragon boating is a fantastic opportunity in Hong Kong to mix and mingle with international and local teams. It’s a serious but fun sport, where men and women from all ages and nationalities compete together side by side, socializing and making new, best friends. 
All events are free for spectators and will continue throughout the entire day, followed by prize-giving and a party afterwards.
Discovery Bay is a fantastic place for the whole family to enjoy the spectacle, offering a lot of space on the beach and a large promenade with al fresco dining options alongside the race course. Further, plenty of food-stalls, a market and performance stage on the Plaza will keep you entertained to the fullest throughout the day.
“German Dragons-FLY”
Thank you for your support and sponsorship!


Click here to watch German Dragons's best race in 2014. This year, they will be participating in the Mui Wo Dragon Boat Race Open 2015 on 14th June (Sunday) and the Discovery Bay Dragon Boat Race on 20th June (Saturday). Come and show your support!

You May Also Like Director Lily Wong Featured on squarefoot magazine

20 December 2018 – In an interview with squarefoot magazine, director Lily Wong discusses high life living on or around the Peak and Mid-Levels. Here are some of her high life property recommendations: EredineThe 53-year-old Eredine is a S
By: Lily Wong

The Light Behind the Gloom in Hong Kong - Positive Trends in Financials and Property

12 December 2019 - Over the past six months while Hong Kong was mired in often violent protests, one of the key topics of discussion in the community was how all this chaos would ultimately play out in terms of its negative effects on the Territory’
By: Joshua Han Miller
More Insights

Tight on time? Let us do the searching for you!

OKAY.COM - iOS App StoreOKAY.COM - Android Play Store
Let's Connect
15/F, Wilson House, 19-27 Wyndham St., Central, Hong Kong
+852 2102 0888
Do you want to login
You already have an account with us? How about logging in?