San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival- 9/15/12
Dragon boat teams across the U.S., from across Canada, and a few international countries come to San Francisco in September to race and roil the waters off of Treasure Island. San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival is probably the largest dragon boat competition in the country.
Competing on Sept. 15 and 16, 2012 are more than 130 dragon boat teams ranging from novice to masters levels. Each long, narrow boat, decorated with a dragon’s head and tail, holds 20 paddlers, a drummer to set the pace, and a helmsman. The courses are 500 meters and 300 meters, and winning requires speed, endurance and synchronicity.
Besides the dragon boating throughout Saturday and Sunday, the free festival has a boat load of on-shore entertainment and activities, music, lion dance performances, acrobatic and martial arts demonstrations, and magic and yo-yo stunts. There are also lots of food vendors on the premises.
6:30AM- The arrival
The day started out very early! We woke up around 5:00AM and we had to be at Treasure Island by 6:00AM so that Kevin can practice and warm up.
It is always cold in San Francisco so I dressed warmly!
There are already a lot of people on the camp ground.
Keivn found the UC Irvine's headquater.
Kevin's team mate
A team warming up before the race.
It was so cold early in the morning so warming up must feel pretty good!
Team Irvine gathering together.
Dragon boat racing began in China more than 2,000 years ago. It’s the center of a traditional festival that falls on the fifth day of the fifth Chinese lunar month, officially named Duanwu Jie (literally, “double-fifth festival”) and informally called the “Dragon Boat Festival.” Duanwu Jie is the equivalent of the Gregorian calendar’s June 23, 2012. So why are the San Francisco dragon boat races in September?
Because dragon boating has become a very competitive sport, races in North America and the rest of the world are staggered so that major teams can travel to and enter multiple competitions. And San Francisco’s weather is usually best around August and September.
The Bay Bridge consists of two main spans of roughly equal length, a western span connecting downtown San Francisco to Yerba Buena Island and an eastern span connecting the island to Oakland. The main part of the western span is a suspension bridge while the main part of the eastern span is a cantilever bridge. During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a section of the eastern span's upper deck collapsed onto the lower deck and the bridge was closed for a month. Reconstruction of the eastern span as a self-anchored suspension bridge began in 2002 and is scheduled to open in 2013.
Docking boats on the marina.
I think there are total of 6 Dragon boats for the whole competition.
First competition is starting soon and people are getting ready.
Lots and lots of paddles and safety vests.
Next.. Walking around