As many years as I have been in Portland I have yet to see a Dragon Boat let alone a Dragon Boat race. Well this weekend is my lucky day or days as the case may be. Tomorrow, Saturday the 11th from 9am-5pm and Sunday the 12th from 9am-4:30pm they will be racing down at the waterfront.
So what does a Dragon Boat look like. I had never seen one. They actually look like Dragons. They are very colorful boats with Dragon heads up front and yes the tails in the back. The Dragon Boats that I learned about sit 22 people. Eleven benches, 2 to a seat. There are all men teams all women teams and there are mixed teams.
Race distances are anywhere between 250 meters all the way up to 2000 meters. Obviously at least two boats minimum race but there can be 10 or so boats at a time. And it's all paddle power!!!
We have a young lady in our Real Estate office by the name of Louise Criswell that Is a Dragon Boat racer and will be there with her team, The Wasabi Club, this weekend. This happens to be an all woman's club with about 100 members. The ages in this club range from 30-72. She has been with, The Wasabi Club, for a year now and was inspired by an older woman who was a cancer survivor that had been racing Dragon boats for 15 years. Louise fell in love with it and has never looked back.
I was curious what kind of dedication it takes and Louise tells me they practice all year round 3 days a week rain or shine. Obviously you dress for the weather but it's anything from rain gear to bathing suits and bare feet to diving shoes. Race season is March to October. These women compete locally but some of them race all the way up at the international level.
I asked Louise what she like most about the Dragon boats and she said it was the commitment to keeping herself fit. And I must say it's working for her. She is a mother of five and a grandmother of 8 and she looks fantastic. And gentlemen... this lady is SINGLE. She also likes the family feel of the club members. They spend so much time together I guess it's only Natural.
You need to come down to the waterfront and checkout the Dragon Boats this weekend sept 11 and 12. Go to Dragon Boats for more information. Come cheer on my Friend Louise and the Wasabi Team.