Did you know one of the biggest events in Lake Lanier history is just days away from hitting our shores in Hall County? The ICF World Dragonboat Championships will be Sept. 12-16 and will be the first time that the championships are held in the United States!
Robyn Lynch, the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue Manager and event manager for the ICF World Dragonboat Championships, said that “on the U.S. team, of the 120 athletes 29 of them are from Hall County. Almost 30 percent of the team is from Hall County. They all train with the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club. There will be teams from the U.S. that will race in the ten and 20 man boat of different age groups as well as mens, womens and mixed teams. There are multiple categories and distances.”
The opening ceremony, presented by Springer Mountain Farms, will be Sept. 12 and are free and open to the public. The closing ceremony will be Sept. 16. Parking is $10 per car and $20 for small buses. No outside food or drink is allowed but there will be food and drink vendors onsite for your convenience.
We recently spoke with Robyn to break down some frequently asked questions about the 2018 Dragonboat World Championships to share with you! Read more below and see you all on the lake!
1. What is a dragon boat?
“Dragon Boating has been around for one thousand years it started in China,” Lynch said. “There are two different size boats, ten man boats and 20 man boats, and it is the second most popular sport in the world behind soccer. It is estimated that 8 billion people Dragon Boat every year across the world.”
2. Are there volunteer opportunities?
“We are still accepting volunteers. We need about a 100 volunteers a day. The competition is four days and the teams are here to practice for four days prior to that so we will have the athletes here for eight days,” Robyn said. “So, we are looking for a ton of volunteers doing a wide range of things. If they go on the website there is a place where they can say they are interested in volunteering and we will send them information on all the opportunities available.”
3. How many countries will be represented?
“We are expecting just under one thousand athletes. From 16 countries to date we are expecting to make it a few more and over the four days about ten thousand spectators.”
4. What events not to miss?
“The opening ceremony, which will be Wednesday Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at the park, will will be a traditional parade of athletes with some opening remarks from the ICF officials and some great entertainment,” Robyn said. “It will be entertaining for families and people from all ages. The event is free to attend but there will be a parking fee.”
5. What is the economic impact to Hall County from the ICF Championship?
“We have run the numbers and it looks like about a 4 million dollar economic impact in one week,” Lynch said. “The athletes will fill up every hotel as well as there is the dining out, spectators, and retail. We have also invested a lot of money with local companies getting prepared for the event.”
For more information: www.lanierdragonboat2018.com