Competition at the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival in Entebbe Credit: Uganda Tourism

2018 Dragon Boat Festival:

  • Winners: Fast Forwarders
  • 1st Runners up: Entebbe B
  • 2nd Runners up: St Lawrence
[/media-credit] It was a busy day at office as the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival took place in Entebbe, Uganda Credit: Uganda Tourism

For the second year running, the Dragon Boat Festival was held in Uganda on Saturday, 16th June 2018.

Hundreds of thousands turned up along the shores of Africa’s largest fresh water body – Lake Victoria at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC) for the colourful event, coming two days earlier ahead of the official Duanwu Festival, also often known, especially in the West, as the Dragon Boat Festival.

Fast Forwarder team was the best overall side, covering 250M in the fastest time of 1:02:75, ahead of 25 other teams.

Entebbe B and St Lawrence were the first and second runners up sides respectively.

[/media-credit] Yang Wang greets dignitaries upon arrival at UWEC for the second Dragon Boat festival Credit:

Wang Yang , Chairman, of the Chinese People’s Political and Consultative Conference (CPPCC) was chief guest at the day long championship decimated by music performances and a few speeches.

Flanked by Zheng ZhuQiang, the China’s Ambassador to Uganda, Yang lauded the participants and the Government of Uganda for embracing the annual boat festival.

We are grateful for the Uganda Government for having fully embraced this annual Boat Festival. It is one special event to celebrate culture and a plat form for networking. I thank all the partners and participants.

Uganda’s Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi in his brief remarks tagged the event as a stepping stone to prosperity;

The Dragon Boat Festival is a great event. It is happening for the second time in Uganda. I thank our brothers and sisters from China. It shows the spirit of teamwork and audacity which are key pillars to attaining success

[/media-credit] Yang Wang (left) and Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi during the performance of the respective national anthems Credit: Uganda Tourism

As early as 7 AM, participants and spectators thronged Entebbe Wildlife Education Center, popularly known as the Entebbe Zoo.

By 10 AM, the official practice sessions were underway before the main event moments later.

Fans loved every race that prevailed over the calm fresh waters, much to the applause of the spectators.

A capsized boat in one of the opening races was the only grey area of the event but the first aid team, UPDF and other life savers were fully alert to tame the situation and no one was injured nor drowned.

Participating team and fans were treated to Chinese cultural performances that included a trade expo where Uganda and Chinese firms exhibited trade items and services themed under fashion, food, health and hospitality services.

Hundreds of fans turned up for the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival in Uganda Credit: Uganda Tourism

There were exciting, energetic and magical musical performances by  kick boxer Moses “Of Uganda” Golola, Sheebah Karungi, BET Award winner Eddie Kenzo and Gravity Omutujju before dawn.

The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated annually in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and around the world.

The people of China generally receive a three-day break from work in order to celebrate with friends and family, with the holiday falling on June 16-18 this year.

Team GEMS Cambridge cheer leaders spurred their side Credit: GEMS Cambridge
Fans watching the 2018 Dragon Boat Festival besides Lake Victoria
Entebbe B Team
Kick boxer Moses “Of Uganda” Golola (middle) had a magnificent performance on the stage Credit: © Kawowo Sports | DAVID ISABIRYE

The main event in China will be held on Monday, 18th June 2018.

Meanwhile, Ugandans can not wait for the 2019 Dragon Boat Festival.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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