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COREY HART

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16th Annual Woodstock Rotary Dragon Boat Festival Set to Hit the Water

The 16th Annual Woodstock Rotary Dragon Boat Festival is set to hit the water. 40 teams from across Southwestern Ontario have registered for the event taking part at Pittock today. Festival Chair Dave Harris tells Heart FM it's a great event for all ages. "It's a great event to watch. There is lots of time to sort of mingle around different team tents to see how they have them set up. The racing on the water is pretty exciting to watch. We have the finish line located right in front of the spectator viewing area and our announcer is sure to keep people on the edge of their seat as he calls the race from the start to the finish." Harris says the highlight of the day will be the final races starting around 3:15pm where eight teams race for 2 kilometres. "Teams actually lap the course twice and we start with the slowest teams first and then we put the teams about ten seconds behind each other. We get boats passing each other on the course so that gets pretty exciting when you have 20 paddlers going hard turning the boat in the corners and passing other boats." For those who don't know, Harris says a dragon boat is essentially a large canoe. "We have 20 paddlers in them, there's a steer person and a drummer at the front. At the festival we decorate them with the dragons head and tail so they look quite spectacular. Really the focus on the team is to work in unison and paddle as a team together so it's not strength and speed that makes a difference." Gates open at 7 this morning with races beginning at 9 at Pittock. Harris says the event should wrap up shortly after four. For more information click here.

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