The origins of the fast-growing and exciting sport of dragon boating, which has its own UK governing body, The British Dragon Boat Racing Association, stem from 2,000 years ago in China. The Asian dragon was the symbol of water and races were held to honour the dragon god and promote the rain needed for agricultural prosperity.
Dragon boating today uses 30-ft or 40-ft, dragon-headed boats and teams of up to 10 or 16 paddlers encouraged by a drummer and 'helm', racing usually over a 200m course. The combination of drumbeat and the helm urging the paddlers on makes for very energetic paddling. The sport is vibrant for both participants and spectators.