About Dragon Boating and The Grand Masters Dragon Boat Club

"The roots of dragon boat racing date back to the 4th Century BC in China. According to legend, Qu Yuan, a revered poet and statesman, hurled himself into the Mi Lo River to protest the corrupt regime of the reigning Chou Dynasty emperor. When local boatmen saw Qu Yuan disappear beneath the water, they raced out to save him. Sadly, they were too late.

"Fearing that his body would be preyed upon by fish and evil spirits and other denizens of the river, the boatmen beat their paddles furiously upon the water. It is said that they also threw rice dumplings wrapped in silk into the river as a sacrifice to his heroic spirit.

"Over time, dragon boat racing became a way to commemorate the death of Qu Yuan and to celebrate his heroic spirit. Today, Qu Yuan's death is honoured each year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month at Dragon Boat Festivals around the world. Rice dumplings are now considered a festival delicacy and are wrapped today in bamboo leaves instead of silk. Before each festival ancient blessing rituals such as 'Awakening the Dragons' (rousing the dragon boats to life by a special eye-dotting ceremony) are performed."

The Grand Masters Dragon Boat Club is comprised of eight teams and is one of the largest Dragon Boat Clubs in the United States. Our teams are made up of people of age of 55 and up. The members of the club are all residents of The Villages, Florida, who want to participate in the sport of Dragon Boating. A full boat consists of one Drummer, one Steersperson and 20 Paddlers. Every team has at least one Coach and one Captain. Most of the teams participate in racing on the local, regional and international levels. Dragon boating is very exciting to watch and to participate in.

As a club we participate in Camp Villages. Also our members volunteer, support and assist many local charitable organizations in and around The Villages. 

Contact Grand Masters Dragon Boat Club

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