2006 Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival

One Race, Start to Finish

This is definitely one of my favorite photo series. I had walked over to the park/plaza where all the tents, announcers, teams not racing, and fans gathered near the Watergate and Kennedy Center. I found a spot where I could shoot some pictures without being in front of any other fans and without them being in front of me and I shot two races, from start to finish. In the early shots you can see the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge and by the end, the key bridge, and the brick, concrete and limestone facades of Georgetown.

The fans whooped it up!

Everyone was having a lot of fun. There is a big difference in the quality of the photos, especially when the sun hid behind the many clouds (the day was well beyond “partly cloudy” as it seems to be year after year in this part of May) and I hope in 2007 to have a somewhat better digital camera. All these pictures have been reduced to about 1/5 their original size. If you would like a CD with the full size, original pictures from the 2005 and 2006 Festivals, including many not pictured on the website, please use the contact form. I will have to charge you, but I will include limited use rights.

Watch out - lots of pictures on this page.

start to finish race, shot 1
The race is just starting. Roosevelt Bridge and Roosevelt Island are in the background.

start to finish race, shot 2
Early in the race, hard to tell much from where I am.

start to finish race, shot 3
Now they are moving. The drums are getting louder.

start to finish race, shot 4
Green and yellow dragon boats break ahead. A tem from the next race crosses in front headed for the start line.

start to finish race, shot 5
The team headed for the start line is as interested in the race as the rest of us.

start to finish race, shot 6
They are still racing hard, I'm taking more pictures as quickly as the camera gets ready.

start to finish race, shot 7
Red is looking good but it turns out to be tha angle from our position.

start to finish race, shot 8
The boats have the finish line in sight and are really working now.

start to finish race, shot 9
Is the sun really coming out from behind the clouds?

start to finish race, shot 10
Green has a big lead now, but everyone is having a great time and the crowd on the shore is cheering their favorite.

start to finish race, shot 11
Green boat stretching its lead, almost at the finish.

start to finish race, shot 12
Just a little further.

start to finish race, shot 13
I moved a little upstream. Green crosses the line first with yellow close behind. The crazy wing shaped towers in Rosslyn are visible above Roosevelt Island.

start to finish race, shot 14
Yellow takes second place. Look at the green crew starting to feel happy.

start to finish race, shot 15
The next couple of shots show the rest of the dragon boat teams coming across.

start to finish race, shot 16
Red just ahead of the finish line.

start to finish race, shot 17
Red crosses for 3rd place. Blue trailing the pack.

start to finish race, shot 18
Now blue, too, crosses the finish line.

start to finish race, shot 19
Swinging the camera upstream, you can see red relaxing as the traffic sorts itself out and the boats spread out to get out of the way of the finish line for the next race and return to the dock.

start to finish race, shot 20
I moved around the point to get a shot of the boats against Georgetown. You can see the Key Bridge and Georgetown University. Is the facing of the bridge limestone or is it jsut weathered concrete? I should check it out.

start to finish race, shot 21
Now everyone is happy. You can seegreen in the foreground and the safety boat and a little sunfish sailboat in the background.

start to finish race, shot 22
And here is yellow at a more relaxed pace.

start to finish race, shot 23
The first of 3 shots of blue and red.

start to finish race, shot 24
Here they are again.

start to finish race, shot 25
The 25th and final picture from this race.

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