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Lunar New Year dragon boat race held in Sydney

(People's Daily Online)    09:29, February 13, 2019

The biggest dragon boat race in the Southern Hemisphere(People's Daily Online Shengyin Li)

Sydney, Feb. 13 (People’s Daily Online/ Shengyin Li) - The biggest dragon boat race in the Southern Hemisphere took place at Darling Harbour in Sydney from Feb. 9 to Feb.10 to celebrate the Lunar Chinese New Year.

At 9 am on Feb.9, an eye-dotting ceremony, a unique Taoist priest ceremony, was held to bless the water to ensure a safe weekend of racing. Linda Scott, Deputy Mayor of City of Sydney, councillors from City of Sydney, Valerie Khoo, Sydney Lunar Festival Curator and Mike Anderson from Surf Lifesaving NSW attended the ceremony.

More than 3,000 paddlers from across Australia battled it out in more than 100 corporate and charity races running every eight minutes during the two-day regatta. It is estimated that this two-day dragon boat regatta will attract more than 100,000 spectators to Darling Harbour.

Sandra Feustel from Northern Beaches Dragon Boat Club has been attending the dragon boat race for six years. “It’s always the best event every single year, everyone from the club looks forward to Chinese New Year because it’s the most fun race,” said Feustel, “The race gets lots of spectators, and with the eye-dotting ceremony and everything it’s back to the tradition of the sports.”

Mal Wills, the starter for the two-day race, has 18-year dragon boating experience. “My role is to make sure the dragon boats all line up as straight as possible and to command the start for every heat,” said Wills. Although Wills is no longer racing the dragon boat because of his age, he has been working for the Dragon Boat World Championships for many times.

In recent years, dragon boat races have become the fastest growing water sports in Australia. Apart from this race, this year’s Lunar New Year celebration in Sydney also includes culinary events, workshops, lion dancing, live cultural performances and so on. The events are expected to attract over 1.3 million people. 


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(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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