Dragon boat racing Dragon boat racing Dragon boat racing in Israel combines the Chinese tradition with the scenic waters of the Sea of Galilee. (All photos courtesy: Dragon Boat Israel/Flickr)

Dragon boat racing makes a splash in Israel

Photos showcase the unique sport that has gained popularity in recent years.

An ancient Chinese tradition, dragon boat racing, has made its way from the Pearl River Delta into the Sea of Galilee. In this 2,000-year-old sport, teams grab their paddles and race each other in long boats across the water. The joint initiative between Canada and Israel began in May 2012 with an international festival and now, two years later, Israel has held its first completely local race. On June 13, teams comprised of members of all ages and experience levels took to the water for an exciting day of dragon boat racing.

Dragon boat captainTrue to its name, the dragon boat is decorated with traditional Chinese depictions of dragons at the front and at the back of the long boats. Each team consists of around 22 members, including the drummer (or caller) who faces the team and leads them across the water

Team paddlingTeam members' paddles dip into the water as they furiously make their way across the sea. The paddles are freestanding, not attached to the boat in any way.

Woman beating drumThe drummer beats the drum to indicate the cadence of the paddlers' strokes.

Dragon boatsThe teams race neck-and-neck across the water. At the back of the boat, "sweeps" determine the direction of the boat with a sweep oar.

Roses in the waterThis year, as a breast cancer tribute, members threw pink roses into the sea.

Dragon boat in sea of GalileeDragon boat racing in Israel is truly a unique experience. Here, a lone dragon boat makes its way across the water, surrounded by the beautiful landscape.


Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows
Dragon boat racing makes a splash in Israel
Photos of the 2014 Dragon Boat Race in Israel showcase the unique sport that has gained popularity in Israel in recent years.