Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club headed to world competition - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club headed to world competition

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More than a dozen members of the Tampa Dragon Boat Racing Club will head to Hungary for the World Dragon Boat Championships.

It's not a cheap trip, so now they're raising money to offset the costs to get the adults and the youth players there. They are holding a Paddle-a-Thon on June 29.

Dragon boating is the true team sport. Jonathan Rivera is a coach and team member with the Tampa Bay Dragon Boat Club. He started participating in the sport in 2005. He said, when those  20 paddlers pile into that one 44 foot long canoe, they all have to work together to win races against other teams.

"You've got 20 people trying to do the exact same thing at the exact same time. I can't find another sport where you have that type of dynamic," Rivera said.

The dynamic has worked well for the Tampa Bay Club; 13 of their current members are traveling to Hungary to compete in the 2013 World Dragon Boat Competition.

"We've got a total of eight people that are part of the team USA as well and they had to do tryouts in order to achieve that," said Mike Leist, president of the club. "We also have five people are going to the Puerto Rican national team, so they're getting ready for the world championships coming up in July."

Getting ready means more than getting physically conditioned, they have to get fiscally ready too. The airfare alone is roughly $1500 per person. And along with the 13 adults, three youth boaters will be traveling to Hungary as well.

"It's a lot… it's a huge financial commitment for those parents," said the youth coach Dave Nelson.

For more information about donating and the Paddle-a-Thon, check out their web site, http://www.tbdbc.com/.

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