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Last Updated: Saturday June 28 2008 09:34 GMT

Gavin goes dragon boat racing

Gavin tries out dragon boat racing

Gavin tried out Dragon Boat racing for Sportsround.

Here's what he thought of it:

"I didn't really know what to expect when I was sent to try out Dragon Boat racing.

I didn't even know Dragons could row boats!!! (OK, that was a joke!)

I'd seen it once or twice on the telly, and it looked pretty cool - and when I arrived I saw that at the top of the boat was a dragon's head!

Awesome - this was going to be fun!

Banging the drum

One thing really stood out though, there was a guy at the head of the boat - banging a really big drum very loudly! Now that's a job I'd be up for!

It was beautiful day out on the lake - the sun was shining, and the water was calm.

In all my eagerness to have a go at drumming, I had to convince the team members that I was worthy of banging the drum (traditionally the most important job in the team).

I was totally surprised at how big the boat was - around 20 people can get into it.


And you sit in pairs, so you row with a partner next you. The most important thing is that you all row together as a team, in the same rhythm, at the same time.

Gavin tries out dragon boat racing
Gavin tries out dragon boat racing
That way the boat glides across the water faster and with less friction (so it's less tiring).

Well, even though I had the drumbeat, when I was rowing it was exhausting!

The instructor was at the back shouting things like 'keep going' and 'don't stop', and 'don't let that paddle drop'.... But because of the drummer, I couldn't really hear anything! It's incredibly loud!


So when it was my go on the drums - I was very excited, and I let rip as though I was some bongo player in a band!

But that's not the way to do it. The drummer's role is crucial to the rhythm of rowing - keeping everyone's strokes at the same time.

So he or she needs to beat the drum once (and as loudly as possible!) as the rowers plunge their paddles into the water.


This isn't about music - this is about working as a team and going as fast as possible.

What a sport! I had a fabulous day - the guys who were rowing with me were great fun. I love team sports, and the best thing about dragon boat racing is that everyone works together to go as fast as possible.

Loads of people are part of the team, so it can be a really good laugh too. I had a blast!

** Remember ... Dragon Boat Racing has become another Activ8 card. Collect it - and the other cards - from CBBC to play the game. Just one more to collect now!!