America’s Cup 2011 – 2013

The 34th America’s Cup is well under way after Oracle Team USA Spithill won the 2011-12 World Series in Newport on the 1st of July. America’s Cup is a series of races between the best sailors on the world’s fastest boats. It began in 1851 and is one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world.

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Artemis Racing, Bar, China Team, Emirates Team New Zealand, Energy Team, Luna Rossa, Oracle Team USA and Team Korea will all battle it out in San Francisco during the months of August and October to get to the further stages in 2013. The teams are using the AC45 catamaran designed by the ORACLE Racing design and engineering team that can exceed 30 knots. It will later be replaced by the larger AC72 model during the finals. The winning team will receive a trophy made by London jeweler Garrard, that dates back to 1848.

Source: americascup.com

Chinese Dragon Boat Festival, June 23rd

The Chinese dragon boat festival, or Duanwu, began in Southern China around 2,500 years ago, and is now celebrated on the rivers of cities all over the world. It takes place on the 5th day of the 5th Chinese lunar month around the time of the summer solstice, which is the 23rd of June this year. Some say that the festival began after the famous scholar Qu Yuan drowned in the Miluo River, and that the race is inspired by the people who rowed their boats out to try and save him. The festival also takes places to venerate the dragon water deity. In Chinese tradition, the dragon symbolizes strength and vitality, and honoring his spirit can bring rainfall needed for the crops, and prosperity to villages and towns.

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The dragon boats are shaped like open mouthed dragons at the front, and are powered by up to 80 rowers. They are colorfully decorated and the eyes of the dragon are painted before the race in order to ‘bring the boat to life’. The team members who win the race will bring good fortune to their community.

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