The "dragons" of the South China Sea speed into the calm waters around Hong Kong recently.
GV boat course with Hongkong skyline in background
SV Japanese crew pushing off for start of race
SV spectators crowded onto gaily decorated junks
GV Japanese crew racing against local teams
SV crowd watching from junk boats
GV dragon boats racing
GV junk boats decked with flags
SV Japanese team coming in last after two other local crews
SV crowd watching and sheltering under umbrellas
SV boat crews lined up to receive prizes
GV prize being presented to local crew
GV Japanese crew receiving award
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The "dragons" of the South China Sea speed into the calm waters around Hong Kong recently. The "beasts" were helped on their way by crews of fifty men who manned the famous "Dragon Boats", which Chinese legends maintains, are actual manifestations of the mythical reptile.
And every year thousands of people turn out ...... despite the occasional typhoon ..... to watch the Dragon Boat races.
The crews are made up of local villages and fishing communities. This year, however, the Dragon Boat Festival had an international atmosphere as a team from Japan took part. It was the first time that an overseas crew had competed in the Hong Kong races. The team came from Nagasaki, where similar boat races are also held. But in Japan the crews only number 25, half the number that are allowed in the Hong Kong event. Before the race the Japanese team confided to a Visnews reporter that their rowing prowess would overcome the disadvantage of numbers. However, as the finals progressed it appeared that such confidence may have, perhaps, been a little misplaced ...... a chance for revenge as a team from Hong Kong will compete in the Dragon Boat Races in Nagasaki.
After the races all those that took part received a prize, which they held up to their cheering supporters. And the visiting crew were not forgotten. The crowd roared its approval as the Japanese proudly held aloft their banner.