Races highlight annual Dragon Boat Festival

Races highlight annual Dragon Boat Festival

May 18th, 2012 by Staff Report in Chattnow Outabout

Photo by Staff Report/Times Free Press.

Saturday will be a day of different strokes for different folks as 56 corporate and community teams compete in the Children's Hospital Dragon Boat Festival. The sixth annual event will take place at the TVA Park at Chickamauga Dam, 3001 Kings Point Road off Amnicola Highway.

Races begin at 8:30 a.m. After a break for lunch around noon, competition will resume at 1:30 p.m., followed by the final round at 2:30 p.m., according to a tentative schedule posted earlier this week at chattanooga.racedragonboats.com.

Each team races once in the morning and once in the afternoon. After averaging times from the first two rounds, division winners will be determined, and the Top 12 teams will advance to a final round. Best times will determine gold, silver and bronze winners.

Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steerer race a 250-meter course in authentic, Hong Kong-style, 46-foot-long dragon boats. Though the competition is friendly, teams decorate their tents, wear their dragon apparel and anoint themselves with nicknames.

Among the competitors this year are the Blew-By-U team of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Tipsy Canoe of Chattanooga Brewing Co. and Crossfit Brigade's Filthy Oars.

During the races, cultural activities, music and a children's zone will be at the site.

Proceeds from the event go to the Children's Hospital Foundation. To donate, visit the pledge page, paddleforchildrenshospital.org.

For more information, call 778-4688.