Dragon boat racing is the fastest growing water team sport in the world drawing over 60 million participants beyond Asia to Europe, North America, Australia and Africa. A dragon boat crew consists of 20 paddlers paired in 2 rows of 10, a steersperson to guide the boat
down the course and a drummer to ensure the crew is paddling in together by drumming while still motivating them to paddle harder.
Dragon Boating was introduced to South Africa in 1992 when two beautiful flag-catching dragon boats were presented to Cape Town by our sister city I'lan County, Taiwan. To celebrate this, a group of canoeists and lifesavers raced and won a best of three against the
visiting Taiwanese Navy fleet who had delivered the boats to South Africa. The following year six fibreglass racing dragon boats (financed by Old Mutual) were launched at the V&A just in time for the 2nd Cape Town Dragon Boat Racing International in November 1996. Amongst our visitors this year was a team of Royal Marines.
DBSA continued to organise annual Cape Town Internationals until 2004, with the number of teams in both the International and the Corporate sections growing exponentially. Teams from Great Britain, Sweden, Italy, New Zealand, United States and Germany became regular visitors and for the 2004 CCWC (also organised by DBSA) these countries were joined by teams from Russia, Canada, Holland, Switzerland and Australia.
Corporates not only helped to finance the events, but several of the Corporate crews decided to take it up as a regular sport and form their own clubs.