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40 years of Dragon Boat Racing at Stanley

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Stanley has long been an important settlement for fisher folk and dragon boat racing has always been a very popular way to celebrate the annual Tuen Ng Festival.

In the late '60s the local races started to attract the interest of expats living in the Stanley area and the event we know today was born. The Chinese teams always dominated the event so to make the races fairer for all in 1975 an expat division was added followed shortly after by the introduction of a Ladies' Competition.

The early races were originally held in Stanley Bay facing Tin Hau Temple. However, to accommodate the ever-increasing scale of the event, the Championships are now run from Stanley Main Beach with competitors and spectators enjoying themselves in a wonderful party atmosphere.

The diverse nationalities of the teams competing remain a unique feature of the Stanley International Dragon Boat Championships. The event holds the record for having the highest competitor turnout and is the largest one day dragon boat event in the world. Having earned a worldwide reputation the event was listed as international event by the International Dragon Boat Federation, the sport's governing body.

The Championships are organised by the Stanley Residents Association on a low-budget-positive-return principle, so most of the work is done by volunteers. Revenue raised from the entry fees and donations are used to cover all the expenses of running the Championships, ordering new boats and maintenance with the surplus used to subsidize community service and promoting sports and recreation activities in and around Stanley.

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