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‘Laracy Gall Lamma 500’ Truly Arrives on Dragon Boat Scene

Sunday May 11th 2008 was a day to remember at Tai Wan To beach where the newly christened ‘Laracy Gall Lamma 500’ Festival truly arrived on the dragon boat scene.

What a difference a year makes. Perfect racing conditions — fast, flat water, light wind, warm, slightly overcast skies — spurred the 33 teams to some fantastic competition over the challenging, international standard 500-metre course.

Over a 1,000 participants and spectators crowded the lush Lamma Island beach creating a constantly changing, living mosaic of colour and energy.

To an aural landscape of top retro and new music supplied by and against a physical backdrop of industrial power and natural beauty, the teams constantly prepared, exerted and recovered in the perpetual ebb and flow of competition.

Fuel for the athletes and supporters was never in short supply from the Island Bar and Shamrock catering stalls which were kept busy all day.

Race organisers Thirsty Horse, under the leadership of Tournament Director Brad Tarr, prepared showers, changing rooms, St John’s first aid, team marquees, free water, even 16 Toi Toi portaloos to provide a paddler and spectator friendly Festival.

The volunteers, most from the HK Sea School, Lamma Dragons and Lamma Fishermen’s Association, worked tirelessly all day arranging the boats, keeping score and officiating the races.

By 4.30pm, after 23 races at the Laracy Gall Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival, it was time to dish out the plentiful trophies and medals to the deserving athletes. In his speech Mr Damien Laracy praised the teams for providing a wonderful day of dragon boat racing over the challenging 500-metre distance.

As the sun went down after the presentations, the music was cranked up, the paddlers replaced adrenaline with Carlsberg and the beach party continued late into the night.

The best dragon boat race ever? Maybe. An incredible, awesome, fantastic day? Definitely. See you at the 2009 Lamma 500!

Download the Full Race Results.


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