An incredible 37 team from 29 countries are taking part in this weekend’s International Canoe Federation dragon boat world cup in Ningbo, China, making it the biggest world cup ever held.
Races will be conducted in both 10-seat and 20-seat boats, over both 200 and 500 metre courses. Sunday afternoon’s finals will be televised live on CCTV 5 in China.
In addition to the dragon boat racing, 37 international technical officials will receive top-level training at an ITO seminar during the world cup.
Ningbo can lay claim to being one of the earliest cities in the world to have a confirmed link to canoeing. The earliest wooden paddle, dating back more than 7000 years ago, was excavated in the area, and there are paintings depicting canoe races which suggest canoeing was one of the earliest water sports contested in China.
The association with canoeing, and dragon boat especially, has continued until today, with Ningbo regularly hosting top-level regattas.