Confidently Beautiful in a Dragon Boat

Some of most beautiful women in the universe were spotted in a dragon boat in the paradise island of Boracay in the Philippines. Sixteen lovely beauties visited Boracay and were warmly welcomed by the officials and locals of Malay in Aklan, the province where the world-famous island is situated. Aside from paddling in the beautiful shores of Boracay, the contestants also got to try fishnet-making and handicraft-weaving using palm leaves.

The island visit is just one segment of the different pre-pageant activities that all 86 contestants must go through. Such activities include photo shoots, swimwear competition, and women empowerment activations–all leading to the 65th Miss Universe Coronation Night scheduled on the 30th January at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

This dragon boat training activity organised for the Miss Universe candidates is a great exposure for the sport of dragon boat. Don’t we all want to live to see the day where every time we mention ‘dragon boat’, we’ll hear: “Oh cool!”, instead of “Sorry, dragon what?”

Here are some the photos of them Confidently Beautiful paddlers!

netpinas dot inquirer interaksyon netpinas-2 manila-bulletin cnn-philippines netpinas-3 rappler

Thanks to Richelle Louise Singson-Michael and the whole Miss Universe marketing team who made this Dragon Boat segment possible in cooperation with the Department of Tourism, Solar Sports and the Province of Aklan. Watch it air LIVE on 29th January on FOX from The Philippines.

Photos: Department of Tourism, CNN Philippines, Rappler, Inquirer Lifestyle, InterAksyon, Sunstar, Netpinas, Manila Bulletin

Dragon Boat World Athlete: Medals are Not the Ultimate Goal

This Q&A was with Dragon Boat World Athlete, Nutcharat Chimbanrai, National Athlete – Thailand Dragon Boat Team.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Nutcharat Chimbanrai

DRAGON BOAT WORLD ATHLETE PROFILE

NAME: Nutcharat Chimbanrai นุจเรศ ฉิมบ้านไร่
BIRTHPLACE: Samutprakarn, Thailand
AGE: 25yo
TRAINING COMMITMENT: Part-time
POSITION: Captain
PADDLING SIDE: Left
HEIGHT: 170cm
WEIGHT: 62kg
STATUS: Single

MEDAL RECORD:
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships 2015, GoldWomen, 200m
IDBF World Dragon Boat Racing Championships 2015, GoldWomen, 500m
Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) 2015, Silver – Women 12, 200m
Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) 2015, Gold – Women 12, 500m
Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) 2015, Gold – Women 6, 200m
Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) 2015, Gold – Women 6, 500m


Nutcharat Chimbanrai, our featured Dragon Boat World Athlete from Thailand, has been doing dragon boat for 12 years now. She was part of the team called: “2550”; her very first dragon boat team. In Thailand, when you are from 2550, it means that you belong to one of the strongest teams and then you are likely to be considered for the National Team.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Nutcharat Chimbanrai

“We live near the river”, she said. “Most of my life, I would say, it’s either I’m in the water or in the boat. As I grow up, I would always watch the annual boat race near our house as part of a tradition. I guess that’s where my love for dragon boat racing all began. My first dragon boat race was with 2550 and then I was selected to compete in the Southeast Asian Games 2007 held here in Thailand.”

Dragon Boat World Athlete Nutcharat Chimbanrai

Let’s get to know more about Nutcharat (or Nut for short) and her dragon boat journey. You’ll be surprised to know her take on what’s an “ultimate goal” really is in dragon boat.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Nutcharat Chimbanrai


Q: It’s tough to qualify for Thailand Dragon Boat Team. Aside from experience and a certain fitness level that one must possess, can you simply describe it in two words?

A: Strength. Endurance.

Q: Where do you practice in Thailand? How many times in a week does Thailand National team practice? How many hours in one day?

A: We practice in Siam Country Club in Chonburi. Sometimes we hold trainings in the reservoirs, rivers or canals at the Chaiya District. There is no definite training schedule; it varies on what needs to be done or improved.

Q: What are the benefits of being a National Athlete?

A: I have found love and great friends in my dragon boat team. They are like my family. I have learned about the importance of teamwork.

Q: How big is the Team Thailand now? How many men? How many women?

A: There are 26 men and 26 women. It’s equal in number.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Nutcharat Chimbanrai

Q: As a seasoned National Athlete, what does the sport of dragon boat mean to you?

A: The traditional boat race for me means to demonstrate unity.

Q: You have already won medals in the Southeast Asian Games and World Dragon Boat Racing Championships, what is your ultimate goal in your dragon boating career?

A: We play sports like dragon boat because we love doing it. The awards and medals are only a small part of it. Yes, you will strive to be the best but in so doing, loving and enjoying the sport is already an ultimate goal achieved.

Dragon Boat World Athlete Nutcharat Chimbanrai

Q: Outside of Dragon Boat, who is the athlete that you admire most and why?

A: Buakaw Banchamek. He’s a Muay Thai Kickboxing Champion. While I have no intentions of learning this sport, I do admire him for his focus and motivation. He doesn’t succumb to any obstacles.

*This interview has been edited and condensed
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The Pink Ribbon Army: Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Teams All Across the World

This is a tribute post to all the Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Teams which exist all over the globe. While these dragon boat teams have been the navigators of the added fun and respectful support system for all paddling breast cancer patients and survivors, these teams have surely fostered camaraderie, friendship, sisterhood and sportsmanship amongst their team members.

Dragon boat has indeed become very popular in the breast cancer landscape. For many, the sport has played a big role in their journey—from detection to treatment—to survivorship. In our earlier post, we mentioned that there have been studies that dragon boat is good for the well-being of the patients and survivors; but we also believe that the benefits also extend to the families and even the caregivers who have been supportive as well.

“These men and women of dragon boat are our pride and inspiration as they are the cancer survivors or cancer patients who paddle and even race with us. As they crusade for awareness or even early detection of the disease, they play the big role in advocating and motivating other survivors and patients to maintain a good quality of life by keeping fit, strong and happy.[…]” [8 Types of Dragon Boats You See At Races]

So, to all the individuals, groups or organisations who have formed and founded these Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Teams, we salute you for initiating and gathering this army of women and men. You have selflessly provided fun, hope, respect, support and care for these paddlers (patients and survivors) who may have, at some point, felt alone, hopeless or frustrated with the treatment.

To all the founders of these teams, you truly deserve the Pink Ribbon of Honour from all of us in the dragon boat community! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Droles de Rames

Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Teams

Argentina

Remeras Rosas La Plata

Australia

Adelaide Survivors Abreast Dragon Boat Club
Amazons Perth Dragon Boat Club
Brave Hearts on the Murray
Dragons Abreast Australia
Dragons Abreast Ballarat
Dragons Abreast Bendigo
Dragons Abreast Canberra
Dragons Abreast Geelong
Dragons Abreast Gold Coast
Dragons Abreast Groups
Dragons Abreast Melbourne/DAM Busters
Dragons Abreast Penrith
Dragons Abreast Sydney

Canada

Abreast In A Boat
Angels Abreast’s Dragon Boat Team
Barrie’s Ribbons of Hope Ontario
Breasts Ahoy
Breaststrokes
Busting With Energy
Chemo Savvy Dragon Boat Team
Chestmates Dragon Boat Team
Dragons Abreast Toronto
Dragon Flies
International Breast Cancer Paddlers Commission
Knot A Breast – Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team
North Shore Dragon Busters
Paddling for Life Society
Rowbust Dragonboat Racing Team
Sistership Dragon Boat Association
Spirit Warriors Dragon Boat Team
Survivors Abreast Peterborough Dragon Boat Team
Survivorship Dragon Boat Team
Survivor Thrivers
The WonderBroads Dragon Boat Team
Warriors of Hope Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Racing Team
West Island Dragons

France

Dragon Ladies LoVe
Dragon Pink Ladies Angers
Drôles de Rames
Pink Dragon Ladies Vannes

Germany

Ladybugs

Ireland

Cork Dragons
Donegal Dragons
Graine Mhaol Dragon Boat Team
Plurabelle Paddlers
Suir Dragon Paddlers
Waterford Dragon Warriors

Italy

Astro Dragon Ladies
Dragonette Torino Dragon Boat Team
Dragonflies
Florence Dragon Lady
Forzarosa Donna
Iscrizione Trifoglio Rosa
Karalis Pink Team
Pink Butterfly
Pink Lioness

Qatar

The Doha Wireless Warriors

New Zealand

Boobops Dragon Boat Team
Busting with Life Dragon Boat Team
Cancer Society Wairarapa Dragon Boat Club
Cansurvive Dragon Boat Team
Simply the Breast Dragon Boat Team

Singapore

BCF Paddlers in the Pink
Pink Spartans

South Africa

AmaBele Belles BCS Dragon Boat Team

Switzerland

Paddle for Cancer Dragonboat Festival

United Kingdom

Lagan Dragons
Paddlers for Life
Pink Champagne Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team
PINK Dragon Network UK
Pool of Life
Port Edgar Dragons
Wave Walkers – Dragon Boat Team

United States of America

Against the Wind Breast Cancer Survivor Team
Breast of Friends
Derby City Dragons
Dragon Boat Atlanta, Inc, The only Breast Cancer Awareness team in Georgia
Dragon Boat Charleston’s Paddles and Pearls
Dragon Divas
Dragon Dream Team
Dragonheart Vermont
Empire Dragon Boat Team NYC
Go Pink DC
Healing Dragons of Charlotte
Hope in the Boat
Indy SurviveOars
Lake James Healing Dragons
Los Angeles Pink Dragons
Orlando Warriors on Water
Pink Paddlers
Pink Phoenix Dragon Boat Team
PINK PHURREE Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team
Pink Steel Breast Cancer Survivor Team
Prairie Dragon Paddlers
Soaring Spirits BCS Dragon Boat Team
Survivors In Sync
Team SOS Miami
The Kentucky Thorough-Breasts
The Pink Dragon Ladies Dragon Boat Team
Warriors on Water
Wellness Warriors: Dragon Boat Team

Please share this list to those who may still be looking for a Breast Cancer Dragon Boat Team to join or support near their area. If your team is not listed above, kindly help us complete the worldwide listing by sending an email with your Team Name, Country and Link of Website/Facebook Page. Cheers!

Photo Credit: Drôles de Rames

Thank you, Dragon Boat World!

Dragon Boat Teams

This gratitude cloud graphic was generated through the search results which we have collected online. These teams are among those who have shared our articles and ‘list-icles’ about dragon boat. It’s such a delight and joy to see the massive number of shares, likes and comments about our posts and features.

A VERY VERY HUGE thanks to all the dragon boat teams, clubs, associations and federations all over the world who have been sharing our posts on their Facebook pages and on their Twitter accounts. All our dragon boat posts have now populated over 50,000 Views (and still counting minute by minute) and you are a whacking part of this success. You are the true dragon boat advocates and agents and we can not thank you enough.

As we have read your tweets, Facebook comments and blog comments, we are happy to marvel that most of you often find our posts to be entertaining, insightful, funny, and, most of all authentic. To simply put it, perhaps it’s because we are passionate dragon boaters just like you are, that’s why you can relate to us; and because of this readership and patronage, we are indeed pumped up and inspired to give you more. (Oh, and if there is anything that you need to let us know (corrections, suggestions, et al.) to help improve our blog, please feel free to do so.)

A long line of Paddle Salute also goes to the tens of thousands of dragon boaters and supporters from all across the world who have spent time to read, like, comment and share our posts about this amazing sport that we all love. THANK YOU and keep breathing fire and always let go of that inner dragon in you during the races. Paddles Up!

Can you find your team on the Gratitude Cloud Graphic? If not, we will make another one soon, so please continue to share our TOP POSTS and FEATURES.


 
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22 Lessons and Things You Learned from Dragon Boat

Dragon Boat

1. The first and the most essential lesson you have learned from dragon boat is synchronicity. Paddling in perfect synchrony will give your team the edge against your competitor. #fact

2. You learned that whether you win or lose in the race, the most important thing is that your team is intact; and that everyone is safe and happy to be racing together. You also learned #humility. You then #moveon and get ready for the next race lined up.

3. You have learned to always remain focused in the boat, to block the pain, breathe properly, and keep up with the stroke rate of your pacers or what you have practiced as a team for a specific race distance. #teamworkworks

4. The knowledge and skills that your Coach has imparted to you can be easily learned if you learn it by heart. The quick (and quality) development of the paddlers/crew may be one of your Coach’s measures of satisfaction. Learn the technique quickly but forget it slowly (or forget it never).

5. Apart from the physical skills you’ve learned from your President/Team Captain, you also learned that the unconditional trust and respect you have on their leadership is reflective of your commitment to the ‘team’. You appreciate their inspiring words before, during and after the races.

6. While dragon boat is a tough sport to learn and to be at, you have learned that apart from the camaraderie it fosters, there is so much to smile and laugh about (at trainings or in races). Yes, dragon boaters are tough yet fun-loving athletes, too.

7. While in your business attire, you carry a sports bag filled with a seat pad, board shorts, a team jersey, compression shorts, changing clothes, bananas, power bars, recovery drinks and other DB stuff. #innerdragon

8. When you see a boat (any boat in fact) you associate it with a dragon boat. You imagine a scenario of you paddling in it. That’s right: ‘paddling’, not rowing.

9. When you see someone carrying a paddle, you feel happy. It’s like you’ve seen a brother or a sister. (In your mind you say, ‘Keep it up, we’re in the best sport ever!’)

10. In a massage session, you will kindly instruct the masseur/masseuse to go gentle on your ass. You mean your fresh blister from training or race.

11. After each heat (and you’re still panting), it is a joy for you to cheer and shake hands with other teams in the embarkation area. That’s real sportsmanship!

12. Majority of the content in your laundry basket are clothes made with Dri-Fit fabric. You have several batches of those week after week after week.

13. Flip-flops are considered to be ‘very formal’ footwear in the ‘dragon boat culture’.

14. You know a fellow paddler when the shoulders and the upper limbs are suntanned. When naked, there’s a visible tan line in the shape of a jersey or a sports bra for ladies. Yeah, the dragon boater’s legs are two-toned too.

15. After paddling, all your stresses are gone (or at least eased up). On the contrary, if you can not paddle because you have classes or you need to work or travel, you are stressed.

16. Your weekends are spent in the water. You’d like to have more sleep but you need to show up on time for practice. It taught you #discipline.

17. You have saved on gym membership as the land trainings alone already make you too shattered. If you have a gym membership, you might have not visited for a long time or you’re not utilising the monthly fee being charged on your credit card.

18. You instantly know what to do when you hear the command: ‘Brace the boat!’ or ‘Brace! Brace! Brace!’

19. You know that the command ‘Hold water!’ means that you do not actually hold the water with your hands. You hold your paddle perpendicular to the water to stop the glide of the boat.

20. In your email ending or personal email signature, you would use ‘Paddles Up!’ instead of ‘All the best!’ or ‘Yours faithfully’. It actually means to signal the paddlers to get ready to paddle or to assume the catch position.

21. Carb-loading. You have learned that it is important to start carbohydrate loading, 3 or 4 days before and in the morning the actual race. Experts say, “it’s good to have a small portion of carbs for about 3 to 4 hours before the race.”

22. It is normal to feel a little bit nervous before the race (not scared, because there is nothing to be scared about). That nervous feeling has taught you how to be brave. You know that it goes away right after your first heat. #TrueStory

Dragon Boat

These are only 22 of the things and lessons you have learned as a dragon boater; surely, you have a tale or two to tell about your own paddling life. We chose to list down 22 as this number significantly represents the Standard Racing Boat or DB22, which is composed of a minimum of eighteen and a maximum of twenty paddlers, one steersperson and one drummer.

Dragon Boat

Another integral lesson that dragon boat as a competitive pursuit or as a recreational hobby¹ has taught the crew (paddlers, drummers, steerspersons), is to not resort into any threat of violence or actual physical violence² at any period of a race or a regatta. Dragon boaters know that this can be grounds for disqualification of a crew or everyone involved.

Dragon Boat

Finally, everything you need to know about dragon boat: its history, bye-laws, competition regulations, rules of racing, calendar of international races, et cetera, can be found here: http://www.idbf.org/.

Notes
¹ “Technical Definitions,” IDBF Bye-Laws Edition 6 (2012): p6
² “IDBF Disciplinary Code,” Rules & Regulations (2014): p3

Photos: Kelvin Pao
Race & Venue: Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival, Boracay Island, Philippines