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Penang International Dragon Boat Race


Penang International Dragon Boat Race is an annual event.

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

In fact, Penang hosts the event at least twice a year. Once in the middle of the year and the other at the end of the year in conjunction with Pesta Pulau Pinang.

The event now is held at Teluk Bahang Dam, a beautiful place which used the be hilly before the valley was flooded to act as water catchments area for Penang island.

The area is now home to a few species of fish in the dam and the jungle surrounding it shelters a few small animals and many birds.

You can see majestic eagles hovering around looking for prey. The tall trees house their roosts.

It is good to know only this race is allowed at the dam because of it only created a minimal impact to the environment.

On 23-24 May 09, nine countries, including Malaysia, sent a few of their paddling clubs.

Malaysia has many local groups based in Penang. Actually, quite a few of multinationals in the state have their own dragon boat teams too. What started as a legend in China is now an event that have thousands of followers around the globe.

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

The spirit of teamwork and camaraderie was apparent among team members. After all, this sport cannot be successful without it. Everyone in the team sweat and hurt together to prepare for the races. I could see a few limping athletes, but I was sure they were not complaining. It was part of the price to pay for the euphoria that came from the challenge.

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

This time also, despite the smaller number of participants, we could see new teams emerging, like the Boracay Bombshells, with their impressive physiques. Funny looking Dragon Fliers, with the children also participating as their mascots. The Pink Challengers came back with their team. These gutsy ladies were all survivors of breast cancer. They were planning to try breaking a record paddling non stop in July 2009 at Queensbay as a means to raise funds.

Penang International Dragon Boat Race
The layout of Teluk Bahang Dam for the race

Because of security reasons, photographers were not allowed to go too near at the edge of the water to record the action. Spectators who had binoculars were able to see the competition more clearly. The rest of us had to be satisfied with standing at the natural steps to view the paddlers.

Have a look at the photos below and you probably would be able to share part of the excitement of the day.


Penang International Dragon Boat Race

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

Penang International Dragon Boat Race

dragon fliers baner

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