Dragonboat Racing in Tampa's Garrison Channel

You know those motivational posters for Teamwork? Someone really should make one about Dragonboat racing, as that's the very essence of what I think of when I think of teamwork. A dragon boat, nothing more than a decorated slender canoe powered by a team of approximately 20 synchronized rowers, is surprisingly complicated. While the mechanics are simple, the rhythm and strength and endurance required to be truly exceptional at it can only come with practice and teamwork.


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Each team is made of a mascot/caller/drummer who keeps the beat and ensures everyone rows in synchronicity. They are at the front of the boat, ensuring eyes stay on them and the goal. The rowers make up the middle of the boat, holding short but wide paddles capable of moving as much water as possible in a confined stroke. The rear is made up of a tiller/sweep/helm. The need for cohesion quickly weeds out any weak links, and it's obvious that many of these teams train year round to maintain that cohesion.


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The rest of the 300 photos I took can be seen here:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/denisbaldwin/sets/72157617508221199/


Denis Baldwin can be seen crashing sporting events regularly in his own site, MyTampaLife.com.

On Saturday, several teams of dragonboats took to Garrison Channel, a thin strip of water separating Harbour Island from the St. Pete Times Forum and the rest of Channelside. Racing in small groups of five teams, the races ran continually throughout the morning. The 6th Annual Tampa Dragonboat Race brought corporate teams and dragonboat enthusiasts alike.

Keep reading for photos of all the action.

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