The history of dragon boat racing: Dragon boat sport is originating in South China. Its more than 2000-year history is associated with the legend of Qu Yuan.
China's much-beloved poet and statesman Qu Yuan was accused of treason on false charges, out of simple jealousy, and sent into exile. As a final protest against the corrupt government of the Chu Kingdom, Qu Yuan threw himself in the river Milo. The Chinese have never forgotten this desperate but heroic act. Fishermen competed with each to find his body before consumed by fish, they beat drums, hit the water with their paddles and threw rice dumplings into the water to distract the fish. That is where the tradition started and continues to this day.
At each Asian or Pacific dragon boat festival, hundreds of boats compete with each other and thousands of people cheer for them.
Although some European racers had taken part in such competitions, the sport became known in Europe only in the late 80s. The first dragon boats came to Europe through Hong Kong and Singapore travel agencies.