Saturday, April 19, 2014

This Blog was created to reach an initial audience, to build support for a unique, colorful, and beginner-friendly recreational team water sport, that allows almost anybody to have some fun as a Team and enjoy the magnificent Hudson River, and involves a little bit of education about a different culture.

Thank you for coming here and reading about the efforts to build awareness, and create a source for education about an unfamiliar and not well covered sport, that nevertheless is available all over the world, all over the US, in several cities in New York State, and now, for the first time in 2014, coming to Poughkeepsie!.

With the help of an enthusiastic and hard working committee, the reality is now
10 weeks away!

The post down below lists the official website,, and now you have access to an official FACEBOOK Page as well:

"Dutchess Dragon Boat Race and Festival"

So sign on for Facebook, type in the name of this page, "like" it, and you will get periodic announcements and photos and ways to get up to date information about the first ever Dragon Boat race on the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, and currently the only Dragon Boat Race on the entire Hudson River!

Awaken The Dragon on July 5th!

See you on the river!   

Saturday, April 12, 2014

photo courtesy D. Nobiletti © 2013


LIVE at last!

While this Blog has been an available source of DRAGON BOAT RACE educational content and background, it is time to shift your attention to the REAL THING- the official, on-line registration and comprehensive procedural vehicle for all manner of needed information, concerning the first annual DUTCHESS DRAGON BOAT RACE and FESTIVAL--

Click on it, read all about the ways to form a team and register, read about the on-shore activities during the race as part of an Asian Cultural Festival, and how YOU can be a participant, spectator, sponsor, vendor, or volunteer.

There is a place for you at this fun and "unique to the mid-Hudson area" first annual event- the only Dragon Boat race currently taking place on the entire length of the Hudson River.

Awaken the Dragon, July 5th!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Paddling in Poughkeepsie
is coming soon!

think Spring- but also- think JULY 5!!! That is when the first annual DUTCHESS DRAGON BOAT RACE AND FESTIVAL is happening, at the HRRA Community Boathouse, along the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie. NY.

YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Have fun with your friends and other BEGINNERS- even if you have never heard of a Dragon Boat before (but if you have been paying attention to this site, I hope you are getting a little bit of an education about what this recreational activity is all about), YOU CAN DO THIS!!

The official Website is almost ready, I will let you know when it is available- VERY SOON- lots of helpful explanations and suggestions to forming a TEAM.....

so think of your co-workers, your family, your knitting circle, your regular bar hangout crowd, your ski club, your church, your political party, your school....

WHO WANTS TO HAVE FUN FOR TWO MINUTES and support two local non profit groups, Arts Mid-Hudson and Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation?


Since this is an "unofficial" site, not the actual authorized official Website, I am going to veer off and "personalize" it slightly--

My name is Peter Van Aken, and I am ENTERING A TEAM in this event- will you join me? A team consists of 16 paddlers plus a drummer, and then alternates- who substitute in during the afternoon (we race three times, and the finalists get a 4th race for the trophy) and the alternates are always a good idea if someone cannot make the Practice session or has to leave early on race day, or has a last minute conflict; you know, life happens...)

If we get a team of 20, the individual per person fee is $50. If we get a bigger team, well, that only reduces the cost, and then not everyone has to race 3 times. But the distance is only 200 meters, less than an eighth of a mile, the activity will only take around 2 minutes, this is being promoted as a "recreational" event, more for laughs and splashing and funny names and even costumes- so not a gritty exhausting effort-- but hey- it is a TEAM, and TEAMS want to WIN, don't they? And again, the key to a TEAM is to paddle together- if we are synchronized, we will be another team that is "strong" or "athletic" but not coordinated.

LET ME KNOW IF YOU CAN pay $50 (or less) and PADDLE ON JULY 5th!! If you are not sure what you receive in return for your $50, Email me and I'll explain. TELL YOUR FRIENDS-

Peter Van Aken-

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Dutchess Dragon Boat Race & Festival is coming!
Think about how nice it will feel, out on the Hudson River July 5, 2014, to be splashing and paddling with your friends in a cool-looking boat with a carved wooden dragon head on the front, a drummer pounding out a rhythm, and 19 other recreational paddlers like yourself, sharing the experience in a 200 meter race! (less than an 1/8 of a mile).

The official race registration form and website is coming next month, so start to think of your ski club (yes, even snow enthusiasts need something to do in the summer…) or church group or fitness club or service organization or neighborhood bar or your school or softball team (it is possible to do two activities for fun during the summer….) and get ready to paddle!

July 5, 2014 - The Dutchess Dragon Boat Race will be the first in Poughkeepsie- so everybody is equal - if you have never been in a Dragon Boat before- neither has anyone else!

And if you HAVE paddled in a race - tell others how much fun it was, and how relatively easy it is to get the basics of the paddling stroke to work. For now, and to get more notifications of the race details, leave a comment on this blog, or email:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Get ready to RACE- July 5, 2014

photo courtesy Doug Nobiletti, ©2013

It's official! the first Annual

Saturday July 5, 2014

we hope to see a lot of spectators, sponsors, dignitaries, and, most of all, YOU as a participant. This is your chance to be part of a team of 20 or so paddlers, or as a drummer, in a Dragon Boat on the Hudson River.

NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE? No Problem! Each team will get a practice session on the water with an experienced coach, during the week leading up to the race itself; and all equipment is provided- the boat, the paddles, the life preservers, and each boat will have a professional Steerer to safely guide your boat down the 200 meter course, and each boat will be followed by a safety motor launch. Ages 14 and up, men and women, your regular hangout, your bowling team, your charity, your workplace, your fitness gym, your church- YOUR TEAM CAN PARTICIPATE!

Lining up for the race will take place at the Hudson River Rowing Association's Community Boathouse, next to the Marist College boathouse, and a little bit north of Waryas Park at the foot of Main Street in the City of Poughkeepsie.

In the next few weeks, the website for team registration, with entry details and more information on the starting time and practice sign up procedure, will be available. MEANWHILE- show your interest! send an email-

and we will make sure you get fully informed about what to do.

Here is comes, everybody-   Awaken the Dragon!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

YOUR chance to PADDLE is coming- Saturday Oct. 12


Come Paddle a Dragon Boat-

Finally, the opportunity to GET READY FOR NEXT YEARS' DUTCHESS DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL is available, with a newly forming Dragon Boat club in Poughkeepsie.

Saturday October 12 at 9 am at the Community Boathouse, the HRRA (Hudson River Rowing Association) and local organizer Bob Creedon are making available a boat, paddles, and life preservers (mandatory wearing) for anyone who wants to try this out- no experience needed, and no expectations- just show up with an open mind and a willingness to follow the safety rules and have fun. You will see how simple the paddling stroke is at the beginning level, and how you can enjoy being out on the water and have a shared experience with other beginners!

As you see from the previous posts, a Dragon Boat has 20 paddlers, a drummer, and a Steersperson. If you have other friends who want to participate, let them know! If you have prior experience- great, then I hope you can help this new program! Dragon Boat races happen all over the world and the US- and next year, the first ever Dragon Boat race is coming to Poughkeepsie!

EMAIL: your name, address, and phone number- or leave a comment in this Post and I will pass along your questions to Bob Creedon. I have not listed a link to directions to the Community Boathouse- I will send you directions, or you can request directions from Bob Creedon. There should be other opportunities to participate in the next few weeks, in case you can't attend on Saturday October 12, so stay in touch with this Blog or the Facebook page: 


Friday, August 2, 2013

Royal Dragon Boating before parenthood

Back when they were royal newlyweds, (July 4, 2011), KATE M. and PRINCE WILLIAM paddled in separate Dragon Boats during a short "race" while on a Canadian tour (Dalvay Lake, Prince Edward Island). Kate had some prior experience back in 2007 as a steersperson; intending to be included in an all-women boat seeking to cross the English Channel for a charity race, but eventually she pulled out because of safety and publicity concerns.

(Photo credit: Big Pictures/Bauer-Griffin)

unedited video of the 2011 "race" between Kate's boat and William's boat: