For a setting more accustomed to superyachts, the sight of Dragon Boats cruising around Port Hercule must surely have raised some eyebrows!
Now, you ask, what can I do of a Wednesday evening in Monaco, maybe something on the water? Ponder no more – Dragon boating is here, right here in Monaco Harbour. How wild is that? You are not dreaming, this is not HK!
How did it happen? Well, Clarence John, a professional dragon boat competitor ans US Dragon Boat Team Member, met Prince Albert in Abu Dhabi – you know how these things work. Prince Albert was impressed, so as a result of that encounter in 2010, there are now two dragon boats available. This is great news for people who can’t get into rowing clubs, dragon boating is very accessible. As it happens, Prince Albert’s cousin, Chris Levine is also a member of the US Team.
When Clarence speaks about dragon boats he talks about community, including people – this is so great. So, this is all about getting involved. 20 people are needed to crew a boat with another 3 or 4 on standby, should someone not appear. An example is one of the teams, the Monaco Breast Cancer Survival Team. Talks are underway with the Monaco Firefighters to create a team. Then we have the University of Monaco Students Team, SBM Team, Monaco Track & Field Team, others are queuing.
Obviously sponsorship is very necessary so sponsors have already stepped up – Pantaenius the yacht insurers, Morley Yachts who provide the life jackets plus sourcing a new boat for the Breast Cancer team.
Did you know that Prince William and Kate competed in dragon boating in Canada? Check out YouTube! What about a royal challenge – William and Kate against Albert and Charlene – It could happen!
There is also the prospect of creating a team to compete internationally. Tim Morley of Morley Yachts is keen to try. I don’t think there will be any lack of support from the participants!
Let’s talk about the people who come along. They are lovely, friendly with a kind spirit. Always ready to talk, always there with a smile. I left with a broad smile myself – I will be back!
Hey, why not go along and find out more – it is painless though I suspect some muscles will know all about it the next day. Oh, and before I forget, a special thanks to my ace spy on the ground Rachel Allen!
Port Hercule (Port de Monaco)
Route de la Piscine
All photos © Mike Colquhoun