Paddlers from across the Sunshine State are anticipated to gather in Southwest Florida April 14 for War on the Peace, the 2nd Annual Punta Gorda Dragon Boat Races at Laishely Park in Punta Gorda, Fla.
Racing begins at 9 a.m. as about 1,000 Dragon Boat paddlers from across Florida are expected to battle it out for cash prizes. Sponsored by the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte Harbor Paddlers, this amateur racing event is an official Southeastern Regional Dragon Boat Association (SRDBA) points race.
Dragon boating is a co-ed team sport. Twenty people paddle the 40-foot-long dragon boat 400 meters (just less than a quarter mile) in about two and a half minutes, plus one person is the steerer and another person is a drummer for a total of 22 people in a boat.
The 2011 inaugural event attracted more than 3,000 visitors to the destination with 31 teams and 700 competitors participating. This year promises to attract more competitors and spectators.
Additional information about the 2nd Annual Punta Gorda Dragon Boat Festival can be found on the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce.