Hartford Goes Big, Adds $20K Purse! - Thanks To The Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association

A small, non-profit organization in Hartford, CT called Riverfront Recapture has produced a one day, community-based dragon boat festival for the past eight years. The primary focus of the festival was to involve regional groups in dragon boating while showcasing the local Asian culture with a colorful ethnic festival. The event has earned a reputation for being very well-run with a light and friendly environment. For this reason, about a half dozen club teams made the annual pilgrimage to Hartford each year to enjoy the festivities, camaraderie, and competition.

dragon boats on the hartford waterfront

Dragon Boats on the Hartford Waterfront. Photo courtesy of Hartford Riverfront Recapture

Well - after eight years Riverfront Recapture has decided to go big or go home. They have partnered with the local CVB (The Greater Hartford Convention and Visitors Bureau) to produce a new version of the event - the 9th Annual Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival has been pumped up with a $20,000 cash prize purse! The competition is sanctioned by the Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association and ERDBA members will compete for qualifying points. The event dates have been changed from a September event to August 15th and 16th. There will be two days of racing, six races in each division, and two race lengths 200M and 500M. Club Crew divisions will include Premier Mixed, Premier Open, Premier Women, Junior Mixed, and Breast Cancer Survivors. Prize money will be up for grabs in each division and for each course length. Also cash prizes will be awarded for first and second place finishes. Overall there are up to twenty individual cash prizes not to mention medals for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishes. The race is being managed by Great White North Dragon Boat ensuring a tight, smooth, and fair competition. It is expected that over 60 teams will compete in Hartford this August and it is anticipated that there will be a strong contingent of ERDBA teams.

dragon boats on the hartford waterfront

Dragon Boat Racers on the Hartford Waterfront moving to the starting line. Photo courtesy of Hartford Riverfront Recapture

In addition to the race itself, Riverfront Recapture has made arrangements for great rates and three hotels - very close to the race venue. The festival will be programmed with two days of colorful Asian entertainment, great food, and of course their famous selection of Asian beers from around the world. The local community is also rolling out the red carpet for visiting teams with special entertainment, dining, and clubbing opportunities plus a huge variety of things to do in the city. The Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival and Hartford is staged to be a great summer vacation option for the entire family.

dragon boats on the hartford waterfront

One of Hartford's big winners. Photo courtesy of Hartford Riverfront Recapture

Reformatting the Riverfront Dragon Boat & Asian Festival has been no small feat and its organizers have benefited greatly from the support and cooperation of many people and organizations. Most important to this effort was the ongoing exchange of information, advice, and guidance from the Eastern Region Dragon Boat Association. From individual consultations with the ERBDA Executive Officers to quarterly teleconference meetings - the interaction and feedback has enabled Hartford to position itself as one of the śmust go to events of the 2009 season.

dragon boats on the hartford waterfront

An award winning Boston team at the Hartford races. Photo courtesy of Hartford Riverfront Recapture

For more information on the Riverfront Dragon Boat and Asian Festival in Hartford, CT on August 15 and 16, 2009, visitHartford Riverfront Recapture.

dragon boats on the hartford waterfront

The Hartford waterfront from above on race day. Photo courtesy of Hartford Riverfront Recapture

dragon boats on the hartford waterfront

There are also Asian cultural activities and demonstrations at the Hartford Dragon Boat Festival. Photo courtesy of Hartford Riverfront Recapture


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