Tag Archives: dragon boat

Nineteen rescued from East River after dragon boat capsizes in College Point

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

The FDNY helped pull 19 people out of the East River near College Point on Sunday after a dragon boat overturned, according to reports.

The people in the boat were all taken to take to the College Point Yacht Club after the rescue at 1:43 p.m. There were no injuries.

According to multiple reports, the people on the boat were members of a team that races in Flushing‘s annual two-day Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival.

The rowers reportedly started practice that day by rowing out from the World’s Fair Marina near Citi Field. All were wearing life jackets which helped to keep them afloat after the accident. 

One of the team members reportedly proposed to his girlfriend during the outing, and she had just accepted his offer before the accident occurred.


Silver anniversary for Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Flushing Meadows

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo


The 25th annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival returns to Meadow Lake at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Aug. 8 and 9.

The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival (HKDBF-NY) is the biggest multicultural festival in New York and the largest of its kind in the U.S. The HKDBF-NY uses the tradition of dragon boat racing. Teak boats are custom-made by craftsman in Hong Kong, which are piloted by 20 crewman. For 24 years, the HKDBF-NY has attracted a multicultural audience throughout North America of more than 50,000 attendees.

This year’s 25th anniversary festival is expected to draw fierce competition with more than 2,500 participants competing. The festival takes place on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair, with an opening day parade at noon on Aug. 8.

Racing begins at 9 a.m. and events will last until approximately 5 p.m. on both days. Various events for the whole family are held during the U.S. Dragon Boat Open Championships, including a photo contest, the traditional dragon dance, music and other diverse performances, and demonstrations of arts and crafts.

Six new 10-person boats from China and several Special/Invitational Cup races are planned for this year’s races. The races include the 25th Anniversary Invitational, the HSBC 150th Invitational, and the Municipal Invitational race with teams from elected officials.

Many officials were invited to field a team, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Rep. Grace Meng and Assemblyman Ron Kim, as well as NYC government agencies. Teams are expected to race for their companies in the Corporate Invitational.

“The board and I are very proud and excited to have been a part of the growth of the festival from ten boats on the Hudson 25 years ago when the festival began, to commemorate the opening of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in New York, to this year’s festival with over 200 teams participating in celebration of the 25th anniversary. HKDBF-NY has become one of the largest international dragon boat festivals in the world and a much-anticipated event on NYC’s summer calendar,” said Henry Wan, chairman of the HKDBF-NY board.

The tradition of dragon boat racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the idealistic poet Quan Yuan, who drowned himself to protest against his emperor’s policies. Locals raced in their boats in an effort to rescue the poet. The locals splashed their paddles and beat their drums to prevent his body from being eaten, which led to the beginning of dragon boat racing.

Parking is very limited, so attendees are urged to use public transportation. Attendees can take the 7 train to the Mets-Willets Point stop, and transfer from there to special MTA shuttle buses that will take them directly to the festival site.


Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival returns for 24th annual celebration

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Images courtesy of HKDBF

Chinese celebrations are coming to Queens for the 24th Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York.

The event will begin on Aug. 9 in Flushing Meadows Corona Park with a Chinese ensemble of musicians playing ancient and modern music  at 10:30 a.m. The event is named after the main attraction that involves over 180 teams, 2,250 participants, on boats with a dragon head on them racing each other across the Meadow Lake. The event is divided into the 250 and 500 meter race. The teams compete for cash prizes and other trophies. The festival is completely free and will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

The tradition of dragon boat racing is an annual Chinese rite commemorating the poet and reformer Qu Yuan who drowned himself in the third century B.C. as a form of protest. To prevent fish and water dragons from eating his body, the locals beat their drums and splashed their paddles.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with performances like the shaolin warriors. Masters and students of Shaolin Kung Fu Center headquartered in Flushing will demonstrate their ancient skills.

Across the country, similar dragon boat races will be held to celebrate the fifth moon of the lunar calendar, according to the event’s organizers.

For more information, visit www.hkdbf-ny.org.


Breast cancer survivors create dragon boat racing team to raise funds

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Paddle for the Cure Dragon Boat Club

A new Queens-based dragon boat racing team is hoping to beat breast cancer by paddling.

The Paddle for the Cure Dragon Boat Club, a group comprised mostly of breast cancer survivors from the borough, is training in the World’s Fair Marina for competitions this year to support cancer research, while creating bonds with others who bested the disease.

The group, which is partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, formed last year after breast cancer survivor Leah Salmorin reached out to trainer James Ma during a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure fundraising event.

Dragon boat racing is an effective remedy for breast cancer survivors, because contrary to the prior belief that after surgery people shouldn’t exercise, the paddling helps women regain strength in their arms, according to Ma. Also, dragon boat racing is a fun sport that gives women a chance to interact and trade stories instead of exercising in a boring gym area.

“From experience working with them, they usually gravitate towards the sport and try to regain control of their lives after cancer,” said Ma, now president and coach of the club. “Each time they paddle, the race is already won as they enrich their lives by gaining strength and dignity.”

The club began weekly Saturday morning practices in May, hoping to compete in races in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Florida later this year.

They are collecting donations through events for equipment, and 20 percent of the funds raised will go to the New York City affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The team will hold a bowling fundraising event on August 26 at Bowlmor Lanes in Manhattan that is open to everyone.

The club is run “by survivors for survivors,” but the group is open to anyone who would like to participate.

When Rockaway Beach resident Kelly Kelley, who beat breast cancer in 2007, received an email about the team, she felt it might be a refreshing experience to give it a try.

A tennis coach at The Mary Louise Academy in Jamaica, Kelley said she thought it would be a great fit because she likes sports and water.

And although drills were difficult for the women when she first started, she reminded her teammates that they beat cancer and can stand up against anything.

“We are a new team, we are new to the sport, so we have to work hard if we want to progress,” Kelley said. “I tell the other women, ‘Listen, it’s not worse than chemotherapy.’”





Top headlines from around the web

| mchan@queenscourier.com


Decomposed body found in Queens attic after suicide note hints at atrocity

His cryptic suicide note left relatives concerned and confused:

“I’m going to go to hell for what I did,” he wrote.

Yesterday, the ominous last words of Devendra Autar, which he scrawled a month ago on a sheet of paper before he hanged himself, finally made sense.

As his cop brother was packing Autar’s belongings to clean out the Queens apartment, he was overwhelmed by a stench from the attic — where he found a badly decomposed body of a woman stuffed into a canvas duffel bag. Read more: New York Post

LaGuardia Community College janitor Harley Joseph loses his job after he allegedly offered high school girl money to suck her toes

A college janitor offered a high school student “as much money as she wanted” to allow him to suck her toes — a perverse incident that led to his firing, city investigators said. Read more: Daily News

Dragon Boat Festival Lets Hong Kong Culture Sail Through Queens

More than 180 teams, or more than 2,500 people, raced painted boats Sunday, as the 22nd annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival wrapped up in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens. Read more: NY 1

Park Rangers Invite Locals To Help Clean Queens’ North Channel Beach

Gateway National recreation area park rangers invited local community members to aid in the cleanup of North Channel Beach in Broad Channel, Queens this weekend. Read more: NY 1

Jazz Musicians Celebrate Louis Armstrong’s Birthday In His Former Corona Home

Jazz enthusiasts came together Saturday, to celebrate the birthday of the king of jazz, Louis Armstrong, at a museum housed in his former home in Corona, Queens. Read more: NY 1