July 26, 2008

Chicago Dragon Boat Race for Literacy

Today was the annual Chicago Dragon Boat Race on the Chicago River in Ping Tom Park in Chinatown. There were 27 teams who participated in the race and one of those teams was the Oak Park Families with Children from China team. Eric and our good friends Joe, Chris, Dom, Bob and Maryanne were all part of that team.

Each dragon boat team has 18 to 20 members, including a drummer sitting up front and a steerer in the back. The race is single elimination so a team continues racing until they lose.

The Oak Park FCC team won their first two races but were eliminated in their third race by the 2007 race champions, Team Diablo. Overall, the team finished ninth, which means they finished in the top third of all entrants -- pretty darn good for a group of people who had never rowed together until they got in the dragon boat for their first race.

All in all it was a great day of hanging out with friends, watching the kids play Duck Duck Goose and Ring Around the Rosie, eating donuts, noodles and ice cream on a stick and getting schooled in the finer points of dragon boat racing. I really think this is something that will be an annual tradition for this group.

In the dragon boat photos below Eric is in the front of the boat, on the camera side, and has on a navy blue baseball cap.

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