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September 6, 2013     Cape Gazette
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September 6, 2013

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14 FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 - MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 Cape Gazette Drago.n boat races coming to Lewes Canalfront Park Competition to raise money for academy, earn braggin' rights By Henry J. Evans Jr. . . The dragon boat: An ornate, 46-foot hollowed canoe with a dragon's head fore and tail aft. Lewes is hosting the blistering speed of 20-humanpower dragon boats racing for the fun of it - and to raise money for a good cause - 11 a.m., Saturday; Sept. 15, in Lewes Canalfront Park. Lewes Dragon Boat Festival 2013 is a fundraiser for Sussex Academy's capitalcampaign. The academy is a public charter school with the mission of pre- paring students for admission to top-'tier colleges and universities. The Georgetown-based school offers a rigorous academic cur- riculum for grades six through 12. How it goes Each boat has 10 rows of seats for rowers who sit Side by side to power the vessel. There is a seat in the bow for a drummer who provides cadence for stroke syn- chronization. A steersman with a sweep oar controls the boat from the stern. Knoxville, Tenn.-based Dy- namic Dragon Boat Racing LLC is managing the dragon boats providing equipment and pro- fessional race logistic services. Drummers and professional steersmen aboard each dragon boat are provided by Dynamic. Dragon boat racing is the world's eighth fastest growing sport, and Dynamic has become a nationally recognized expert in dragon boat event management, according to the company's web- Site. Christa Griffin, festival chair- woman, said the festival is coming together well. "The public is really excited about it; and teams can't wait to paddle 'and compete," Griffin said. Races will start in the Lewes- Rehoboth Canal north of the Lightship Overfalls, and finish at Canalfront Park. Each race covers a distance of about350 meters (1,148 feet) and should take about two to three minutes to complete. Each team is scheduled for at least two races. Three boats will race in each heat. The number of races is determined by each team'S success." Winning has nothing to do with team-member age, size, strength or athletic ability, ac- cording to the pros. Dragon boat race veterans say winning teams are those that work well together, coordinating their strokes to ef- ficiently, smoothly and quickly propel their boat across the fin- ish line. litter; walk only on the park's gravel paths, open grassy areas and docks; stay out of all bedding areas; obey posted signs; and listen to the directions given by event staff. "Festival organizers want ev- erything to go well so we can grow it and come back next year and for years to come," Griffin said. She said the goal, of course, is to make money, but organizers know that might not happen. "First-year fundraising events like this are happy to break even. There are a lot of expenses in- Cntinued on page 17 Racing prep The Dynamic truck carrying dragon boats and other equip- ment is expected to arrive in Lewes Wednesday, Sept. 11. Team practice sessions will be held Thursday, Sept. 12, Fri- day, Sept. 13, and Saturday, Sept. 14. A coach wiil provide water safety instruction and paddling techniques, and give each team member an assigned seat to max- imize race-day efficiency. Festival organizers have worked closely with the City of Lewes and have assured city of- ficials Canalfront Park will not be damaged, Griffin said. But if there is damage, Griffin said the festival has insurance to cover repair costs. "We're pretty confident there won't be any problems. Every- One who is participating is from around here," she said. She said participants and the public are asked to be good stew- ards of the park to demonstrate that it's a great venue. Those who come are asked to be consider- ate of area residents,. Canalfront Park and surroundings. Festivalgoers Should remem- ber t( park thoughtfully; not A DRAGON BOAT DRUMMER provides cadence for rowers on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia at the June 2007 inaugural Philadelphia Dragon Boat As- sociation Regatta. A must shopping experience - room after room 4cott000000, b00,chy ,:,,d, of cou,.s00, "