The Macao International Dragon Boat Races, which began on Saturday and ends today, is a highlight of Macau’s annual sporting calendar.
Besides the traditional festivity that surrounds the atmosphere of the Tuen Ng Festival, also known as the Dragon Boat Festival (which will be celebrated today on the fifth day of the fifth moon, also marking the Summer Solstice), the races are an opportunity for local participants to compete and put their capacities to the test.
A woman named Suzanne, one of the team’s supporter members of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, was on the stands cheering for the company’s rowers: “[It’s] a good opportunity to compete with other teams and of course other casinos. This time SJM was really strong but it’s okay, we are still happy with our result,” Suzanne concluded while confirming the 6th position of the team on the final race.
A man named Marc, a Filipino national and a part of the team that won the Open Category, told the Times that races this year are very difficult due to the very hot weather conditions.
“It’s really difficult as it is really hot today but we are quite okay in this weather as we have a lot of Filipinos and also a few people from Nepal on the team that are quite strong and resilient so I think that might give us some advantage,” he said ahead of the final race that the SJM Golden Jubilee team eventually won.
Marc also added that this was his second time participating in the Dragon Boat races but his first on the team, which had sought supplementary members this year. His team won at the races on both days (June 16 and 17), which were reserved for Macau local teams and public entities.
Thrilled by the victory achieved in the women’s category for standard boat 500 meters was Weng, one of the paddlers from the Wynn team. “I’m very happy; we worked so hard for this. I thank everybody for the great team work and spirit.”
The event ends today with the international race levels in three different categories: the Macau University Student Invitation Standard Dragon Boat Race and the Macau International Invitation Standard Dragon Boat Race, both Open Category, and Macau International Invitation Standard Dragon Boat Race (Women’s Category). These categories will decide this year’s final winners. The organizers mentioned that the races have the purpose of promoting the modality of Dragon Boat, and strengthening relationships between the local teams and non-local teams as well as promoting the development of sports and tourism activities.
The event, as it has become a tradition, also had presentations of several performances from local groups and there was an area for food and drinks as well as souvenir stalls.