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Dragon Boaters become 'hot property' in Guangzhou

AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL

MEDIA RELEASE

15 June 2006


Dragon Boaters become ‘hot property’ in Guangzhou

Pleasing results in their races at the International Dragon Boat Festival have left Auckland City’s dragon boat team members smiling.

Challenging top international teams at the event in Auckland’s Chinese sister city of Guangzhou, the 23-person squad from New Zealand enjoyed two fourth place finishes and was even able to edge out the German men’s team in one race.

Team member Nicole Darth says the team is very happy with the results.

“It’s a pretty awesome achievement. The German men’s team paddle all over the world at the same level as the top Auckland teams so the result shows that all our hard work in training has paid off,” she says.

The Auckland City team also proved a hit off the water performing the haka and waiata at the Festival awards banquet. Team shirts and singlets were in hot demand during the traditional trading of threads at the end of competition.

The team can look forward to more of the same with Germany, Australia and Singapore extending invitations to compete in their international competitions.

They are supported by Cathay Pacific, sponsor for part of the airfares, and Opus, with a substantial increase in its usual annual sponsorship for the dragon boat team.

The Guangzhou International Dragon Boat Festival is a major event, with the 2005 race attracting 260,000 spectators who watched 101 teams from throughout the world. Over 8000 participants competed in 2005.

Guangzhou is home to approximately seven million people. It is the largest, most prosperous city in southern China, and is its commercial and international trade centre.

The Auckland-Guangzhou sister city agreement was signed in 1989 to encourage cooperation in trade, science, technology, culture, arts, education, sport, tourism and municipal administration.

ENDS

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