SOURCE: California Dragon Boat Association

September 15, 2011 16:38 ET

The 16th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival, Treasure Island, San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 15, 2011) - If you row it, they will come. And row they do and come they will -- by the thousands -- to the 16th Annual Kaiser Permanente San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival ( this Saturday & Sunday, September 17 & 18 on Treasure Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Both days feature racing from 8am - 5pm, and an on-land festival of cultural entertainment, delicious food, and children and family activities, from 10am - 5pm. Entrance to the Festival is free and open to the public, as is viewing of the races. Free shuttles will be provided from locations in San Francisco to Treasure Island.

"This year marks the seventh year at Treasure Island and the 16th anniversary of the Festival overall," said Linda Cheu, Festival Director of the California Dragon Boat Association which sponsors the event. "With the continued growth of dragon boating in the Bay Area, the California Dragon Boat Association again expects record attendance in all divisions this year."

A Dragon Boat team consists of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steers person paddling to cross the finish faster than their competition. With its beginnings in Southern China, dragon boating today is the fastest growing international team water sport.

"The appeal to dragon boating is mainly contributed to the sport's ability to accommodate a wide spectrum of skill levels ranging from novice to competitive," says Jeanie Lee, President of the California Dragon Boat Association and also a longtime crew member of dragon boats. "At the novice and recreational level, teams often form as a means of social outlet, team building and an alternative means of exercise. For the spectator, the true display of the sport's intensity and skill is witnessed in the competitive ranks."

The California Dragon Boat Association is the largest dragon boating organization in the Bay Area and organizes one of the largest competitive dragon boat festivals in the United States. In addition, the Association oversees the largest high school and college dragon boat program in the nation.

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