The 2018 Jinji Lake Dragon Boat Race kicked off at Moonlight Pier on the morning of June 18. Wu Qingwen, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee and secretary of the Party Working Committee of SIP, and Sheng Lei, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee and director of Publicity Department of CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee, attended the opening ceremony.
The Jinji Lake Dragon Boat Race, which is very much in favor as a mass sports activity, has been held for 8 consecutive years since 2010 and has become one of the most representative festival celebrations in SIP and in Suzhou. At about 8 o’clock in the morning, Moonlight Pier was already crowded with people who came early to find a good place to watch the race, many of them ready to record wonderful moments with their cameras.
A total of 66 teams competed in the race which consisted of three events: 37 teams in the 300m Men Straight Speed Race (12-people Boat), 13 teams in the 300m Women Straight Speed Race (12-people Boat), and 16 teams in the 300m Open Straight Speed Race (22-people Boat). There were 10 teams of expatriates with 220 athletes from over 20 countries, accounting for 16% of the total participants. In order to optimize the arrangement of the events, the organizing committee increased the percentage of the DB12 women teams and the DB22 teams. And an eight-lane starting platform was put in place for this year’s race.
At 8:58 a.m., the heats of the 300m Open Straight Speed Race (22-people Boat) kicked off. The dragon boats dashed out like arrows, the paddlers rowing furiously to the beat of their drums amid the shouts of the spectators on the shore. The team of Suzhou Industrial Park Institute of Services Outsourcing, the champion last year, won the first place of Heats Group 1 in 1:14.58 and advanced to the final.
This was followed by the heats of the 300m Women Straight Speed Race (12-people Boat). The weather was windy that morning, which posed a challenge to the teams without much experience. The boat of a team which attended the race for the first time capsized and 12 crew members were immediately helped ashore. According to the organizing committee, the accident was mainly due to waves caused by strong winds and the team’s failure to unify their rowing rhythm.
After fierce competition, the team of Suzhou Industrial Park Institute of Services Outsourcing won the championship of the 300m Open Straight Speed Race (22-people Boat) in 1:08.67; the team of “Institute of Building Science” Hohai University Alumni Association (Suzhou) clocked 1:13.25 to claim the title of the 300m Men Straight Speed Race (12-people Boat); the team of Soochow University won the first prize of the 300m Women Straight Speed Race (12-people Boat) in 1:23.62, with the popular “Yangtaitai” (foreign wives) team finishing runner-up.