Collisions happen in dragon boats.

Collisions happen in dragon boats. 

Collisions happen in dragon boats.  Protect your self, and your hands. 
In 2003, Gung Haggis raced in Portland.  A team from LA, had an
inexperienced steersperson that couldn't handle the power of competitve
level paddlers, and she lost control of steering, and turned sharply in
front of us.  We called “Hold the boat” and they called “let it run” –
but we still hit them with a “bump”

This picture is Gung Haggis Fat Choy hitting LARD at the 2003 Portland 6-16 races – photo by Ray Shum and posted on

I will coach teams to keep paddling – even if boats come so close that
paddles are hitting each other.  Sometimes we practice these situations
with other teams.  If the paddlers on the “near-collision” side all
stop paddling and all the paddlers on the “clear” side keep paddling –
then the boat will be over-powered to turn towards the “impending

In 1999, Unipharm went head to head, side by side
with another team in the Novice B finals at Alcan.  Paddles collided at
the beginning and the start… but the boats never did.  The race
referees in the chase boat watched them carefully, and told them after
the race not to  protest, because no collisions occured and the teams
finished 1st and 2nd.  It was an exciting race.  Having another team
beside you can push you to give more, or make you over excited and
forget your technique.

Above all… watch out for your safety. 
One dragon boat race isn't worth a broken hand or finger. It's been 2
months since my right baby finger was hurt (smashed on the boat gunnel
and requiring 5 stitches), and the pain can still be sharp at times. 
Definitely cramped my musical performing life.

Gung Haggis had what looks like near collisions at the 2007 Alcan Dragon Boat Festival… but it was only steering challenges.  The water had some strange currents and it was difficult for everybody to control their boats on Saturday afternoon.  We chased the CC Dragons, nipping at their tail… then we were asked to let it run… we did a running start, and still finished in third place.  One of our paddlers Sarah posted this video of our Saturday afternoon race:

Check out this Youtube video:
Here's what happens in a collision between two dragon boats… 
and nobody holds their boat to stop the impending collision.  Gee… it's a mens' boat loaded with testosterone…
the side that gets hit sits up straight – or leans into the middle to
yell at the other boat or to avoid the crash… and the non-collision
side keeps paddling and leaning out…

This video from the 2007 CDBA Sprint Dragon Boat Regatta Men's Final – that were held last weekend.  CDBA organizes the San Francisco Dragon Boat Races
held at the end of September.  I have raced there in 1999 and 2001.  Our Gung Hagg paddlers
Dan Seto, Pam Huey and Kristine Shum raced there in 2005.  And we all
have medals from those races!

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