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Dragon Boat Teams Practice for a Day of Racing

The Hudson Valley Young Professionals and other Dragon Boat teams have been practicing on the river over the last two weeks.

Click through the photos to see the Hudson Valley Young Professional teams, sponsored by Manzer Landscaping, practice for the . Thank you to Bill Powers of Peekskill Celebration for sending the photos. 

Also, from Peekskill Celebration:

There are several enhancements involving the Dragon Boat Races, according to Celebration’s Executive Director Cathy Montaldo.  First, in order to accommodate the rapidly growing interest in the sport by cancer teams, Celebration is expanding the Cancer Awareness Races to a full morning of competition while the community-focused teams will compete in the afternoon--something both cancer and community teams support.  Second, Celebration is partnering with Empire Dragons, a cancer survivor and dragon boat support team from New York City to boost participation and raise awareness. Third, Hudson Valley Hospital Center has come onboard as signature sponsor of the cancer races.

 “We are delighted to partner with Peekskill Celebration to put a stronger focus on the Cancer Awareness Races.  The Empire Dragons team is all about raising awareness and increasing participation in this worthwhile endeavor on the beautiful Hudson River,” said Empire Dragons Boat Captain Donna Wilson.

Business, community and cancer awareness teams wishing to participate in this year’s Dragon Boat Races scheduled for Saturday, August 4 are encouraged to registration before July 10, 2012.

“Dragon boating is the perfect team building exercise for businesses and non-profits and is a popular rehabilitative sport for cancer survivors because it involves physical training with people who are facing similar challenges. Cancer-related teams use dragon boating to build camaraderie out on the beautiful Hudson River,” Montaldo.

 Sponsorship/registration fees are $1,200 per dragon boat for business and non-profits and $800 for Cancer Awareness teams. Registration forms and a complete list of rules and regulations can be downloaded from the event’s website www.peekksillcelebration.com. Even if a business is unable to participate, but would like to sponsor a non-profit group,Celebration has a waiting list of prospective teams that need funding.  For more information, please call 914-736-2000.  

In the weeks leading up to race day, practice sessions are offered to all the teams. Teams participated in at least one practice session, conducted by trained representatives of the Peekskill Yacht Club.  During those sessions teams learn safety procedures and how to paddle in sync with other team members. Winning requires paddling in unison, strength and endurance. Dragon Boats are 41-foot-long canoes with colorful dragon heads and decorative tails, hence the name. Crews consist of a minimum of 16 paddlers plus a drummer and steersperson. Team members must be at least 16 years of age.

Registered Cancer Awareness teams include: Empire Dragons, Machestic Dragons, Steel City Dragons, Flying Phoenix, Suz Crew, Fire Breathing Dragons, Support Connection, Miles For Hope, Hudson Valley Hospital Center and Yin Yang Warriors.

Now in its seventh year, the cancer races and commemorative Rose Ceremony are the most emotional parts of the day. More than 120 paddlers raise their roses into the air and toss them upon the surface of the Hudson River to honor those who have lost their battle to cancer, to celebrate the lives of those who beat the cancer dragon and to applaud those who have enjoined the battle against this disease.

 Registered community teams include: Peekskill Rotary Club, Arlington School District, Hudson Valley Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, Southern Dutchess Chamber Young Professionals, Quiet Man Public House, City of Peekskill, Hendrick Hudson Sailor Moms, Chase the Dragon, Noah's Ark, NYU Dental Students, Dragon Meisters, Entergy Green Dragons, Fred's Fearless Dragons and Yin Yang Warriors. 

 Friday night, all day Saturday and Saturday night, our Main Stage entertainment features the brightest performers in the Hudson Valley.  The Friday night concert features the West Point Jazz Knights, and officials will soon announce their Saturday night featured artist.  Local community acts will perform the remainder of time.

The Entergy Fireworks Extravaganza is the largest fireworks display north of the Macy’s annual Fourth of July display and is one of the signature activities that makes Celebrationunique in the Hudson Valley.  The pyrotechnic display is synced with music provided by WHUD 100.7 Radio. 

The City of Peekskill partners with Celebration to provide police, public works, parks and recreation and emergency services and logistical support. In addition, major sponsors like Entergy, Wheelabrator, Hudson Valley Hospital Center, MCA of the Hudson Valley, Chase Media, D. Bertoline and Sons, and others, help to underwrite all of the free activities.

Updated information is provided on the Celebration website www.peekskillcelebration.com.

Patricia Esposito August 12, 2012 at 11:36 PM
It was a great day...but the boats out on the water during the rose petal ceremonies should have been exclusive to cancer survivors. This should have not been a competitive event. I say this as a cancer survivor...many of us were so very disappointed that we were denied this opportunity...especially when i heard that some of the paddlers in this race were paid to participate. Maybe next year we will have our moment?

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