The Dragon Boat Season is upon us!

From around mid-January every year, many visitors to the beautiful island of Boracay, will witness the beginnings of the Dragon Boat Season.

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Early Morning Training sessions (photo courtesy of Lhen Brutton)

From early morning (around 6am-9am) and late afternoon, Boracay’s Dragon Boat Teams will be on White Beach, stretching, exercising and paddling hard in preparation for the Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival, which is typically held on the last weekend of April. This festival attracts Dragon Boat Teams from across the world and the Boracay Teams are some of the fiercest paddlers around. Hotels and Rooms tend to be booked months in advance by visiting team members, their friends and family, as well as from returning tourists who don’t want to miss out on this exciting two day event. So, plan ahead and book your accommodation soon!

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Colourful Costumes of the Boracay Bumshells

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Members of the oldest Boracay Dragonboat Team; Bugsay. Sunset Parade 2013
Photo Courtesy of @Harvey Tapan

This year the International Dragon Boat Festival will take place over the weekend of the 24th to the 26th April 2014.  Starting with a Team Parade along White Beach at Sunset on the 24th April.

Race goers and returning fans watch out, in particular, for Boracay Bumshells and Bugsay Boracay, who always have colourful costumes and dance routines, accompanied by fast and furious drum beats.

Races start early on Saturday 25th April 2014, usually from around 7am, with the heats for the Women’s 500m, the Men’s 500m and finally the Mixed Teams 500m.  Then on to the semi-finals and finals for all the teams. Sunday is dedicated to the 250m Races in all categories; these are the ‘sprint’ races.

The Boracay Dragonflies winning Gold in the 250m Small Boat Category 2013

The Boracay Dragonflies winning Gold in the 250m Small Boat Category 2013 (photo Courtesy of Estan Cabigas)

The Festival isn’t complete without a few capsizes (usually on day 1) or Team rivalries emerging.

This Festival is also a great opportunity for photographers looking to develop their action photography skills, either as an amateur from the beach front or through securing an official pass from the organisers.

Details about this can be secured from Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival Hotels which offer large Family Rooms are the most popular for visiting teams; such as St Vincent Cottages, La Reserve and Arwana Hotel. Alternatively, if you want to be close to the action, you may want to consider Hotels located at White Beach Station 2.

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