A day out for all the family!
Join us in Totnes on the 14 July for an unforgettable event!
Dragon boating began in China more than 2000 years ago, originating from superstitious beliefs that the boat racing would ensure prosperous and bountiful crops.
Spectacular for both participants and spectators alike, dragon boating is the fastest growing aquatic sport in the world. Adrenaline pumping and fiercely competitive, the teams range in experience from years to just a few weeks in some cases.
To complement the colourful spectacle on the river there will be all day entertainment with food stalls, fun for the kids, hospitality tents and much more. A great day out for the family.
Loud cheering, clapping and considerable enthusiasm from spectators is to be encouraged!
All the Fun of the fair on Longmarsh
Music by The Totnes Jazz Workshop
Entertainment by Les the Fez
Food and Drink
China Blue Gin Bar Devon Distillery New Lion Brewery Upbeet Catering
Dartington Dairy Kumbites South Devon Hog Roast Chunk Pasties
Voyager Coffee Kris Cones
Children’s Hospice Southwest Rowcroft Hospice Newcross Healthcare
Animals in Distress Daisy Rainbow Childcare Totnes Caring SSAFA
Citizens Advice South Hams Devon Air Ambulance Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline
Devon Wildlife Trust Shelterbox Rotary Club of Paignton Totnes WI
The Totnes Dragon Boat Challenge is open to all. Previous experience of Dragon Boat Racing is not necessary to enter a crew, but all crew members must be confident in cold water whilst wearing a life jacket. The minimum age for competitors is 18 years. All competitors must wear a buoyancy aid (provided by the event organisers), be entered on a Crew List, signed an Acknowledgement of Risk Form and had a safety briefing before they race, to validate their crew’s public liability insurance cover.
Dragon Boat Racing
The dragon boat celebrations were conducted during the summer solstice - the time of the year when natural calamities such as disease and death were more prevalent. Accordingly, dragon boating has come to symbolize both humankind's struggle against nature and the fight against dangerous enemies.
The tradition of dragon boat racing was further embedded in Chinese culture by the tragedy of patriotic martyr Chu Yuan. Chu Yuan was a poet and a minister and councilor to the King of Chu and lived during the "Warring States" period in Chinese history around the 4th century BC. It was a time when numerous supremacy wars were fought between feudal lords, resulting in the destruction of many kingdoms. The Kingdom of Chu, however, became one of the mightiest states.
Chu Yuan, in his desire to preserve the future of his kingdom and his country, provided advice to the King, which was ignored, and he was subsequently exiled. In despair over the consequent devastation of the Kingdom of Chu and his exile, Chu Yuan committed suicide by throwing himself into the Mi Lo River.
The people of Chu loved and respected Chu Yuan. They mourned his death and devoted much of their time trying to deter the fish and water dragons away from Chu Yuan's body by rowing around the river in their fishing boats, splashing their paddles and beating their drums. To ensure that Chu Yuan never went hungry, rice wrapped in leaves was cast into the river. Rice cakes are still eaten today as part of dragon boat festival celebrations.