The Orlando Dragon Boat Club is a program of the Orlando Rowing Club that offers Orange County residents the opportunity to experience the fastest growing water sport in the world. The club owns three 20-paddle boats, paddles and life jackets, and rents equipment for their training. The boats are 40-foot, canoe-like vessels that can accommodate up to 20 rowers. Each boat is adorned with a dragon's head and tail, which is a reflection of the Chinese belief that dragons symbolize protection against evil and disease.
The club currently has more than 100 members on seven different teams, some of which compete at festivals in Florida and Georgia. The most exclusive teams are those of the Orlando Dragon Boat Club, which include Scorch (a mixed team), Orlando Sirens (women's team), C, H, A, R, G, E. Charlie Goodnough, who grew up on the water, stumbled upon the dragon boat sport by accident when his family was preparing for a summer regatta. This sport began in China almost 2,500 years ago and was popularized internationally when Hong Kong held the first international dragon boat regatta in 1976. Today, it is estimated that there are more than 50 million people around the world in more than 60 countries participating in dragon navigation.
Dragon sailing is an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors, get plenty of exercise and make new friends. It is ideal for those who have never practiced dragon sailing before and want to learn all the basics at a leisurely and informal pace. The Orlando Dragon Boat Club provides an excellent opportunity for Orange County residents to experience this exciting sport.