Dragon Boating

How it all began!
Dragon Head 1
Po Toi 2005 DB-Race

When living in Hong Kong one of my hobbies was photography.Back in 2005 my very good friend "Beano" asked me to help him out by taking photos of his wedding. Beano was a member of a dragon boat team, the BUZZ Dragon Boating Society, who all were guests at his wedding. When the paddlers saw the photos I had taken they were - to my surprise! - quite fascinated.

The BUZZ, as almost every dragon boat team, depends on sponsors.Unless a team is fortunate enough to receive support from some wealthy private people or members, sponsors are usually companies who want some public exposure and/or some meaningful marketing material they can use for commercial advertising or the like in return. Essential things for a team to satisfy sponsor demands are photos, videos and possible media exposure through local news paper, sport magazines and - if they are lucky - TV reports. At the time the BUZZ had a lack of photos and so it came, that they asked me to become their team photographer.

I was willing to give it a try, but told the BUZZ not to expect to much, since I wasn't a professional. So it came, that I joined them to all events during the race season 2005.

Before going to the first race, which was the Tsung Kwan O Fishermen, of course I tried to prepare myself and looked at photos taken by others in the years before. At the time I found most of pictures being taken from a far away point of view and letting the boats and people quite small, the action was missing. To get more close, the one thing is a zoom-lens - no need to talk about it - the other thing is the point of view, on which I started to work on and I can tell you, that's the risky part!

Paddleaction 1
Tseung Kwan O 2005 - These are first photos I've taken for the sport

Tseung Kwan O 2005
Tseung Kwan O 2005

Tseung Kwan O 3
Tseung Kwan O 2005

Over the season I managed to take a few pictures having a "wow-effect" on people watching them. The BUZZ was able to serve their sponsors and asked me to continue with them, which was my pleasure to do.  However, I actually ended up with more than 14.000 photographs and the question, what to do with them? The idea came up to publish them or at least some of the best in a book.

With the help of the BUZZ I started my research about the dragon boat sport, its tradition and its modern development. Of course this was leading me to also come into contact with the International Dragon Boat Federation. The IDBF helped a lot for the book, too.

Finally the making of the book under its title "Hong Kong - Mother of Dragons" marks the starting point of Creative Dragon Works (CDW).

Hong Kong - Mother of Dragons
The book Hong Kong - Mother of Dragons

"Hong Kong - Mother of Dragons" was published with great success in 2006. It triggered Creative Dragon Works setting up the so famous website www.dragonboatnet.com, becoming an official marketing partner to the IDBF and the publisher of the only world-wide magazine "Dragon Boat World International", after the former "Dragon Boat World" magazine was closed down.

Over the time Creative Dragon Works always maintained very good relationships not only the BUZZ, but also to the Fishermen in Hong Kong and to most of the Dragon Boat Teams, of which especially the Chai Wan Fishermen, the Hong Kong Island Paddle Club (IPC), the Fishermen in Aberdeen and Stamley, as well as Stanley Dragon Boat Association, the Stormy Dragons and the Lamma Dragons are to be mentioned, beside all the other fantastic people and teams.

Buzz Dragon Boating Society 2005
The BUZZ at Stanley Intl. 2005 - Expat Men A: winner of Grand Final; Ladies: second; Chinese Men A: third. - It was the first time the feat had been achieved by one club!

Mainly published via Dragon Boat Net, which is not active anymore, Creative Dragon Works has produced many videos and photographs, as well as published many articles and informations for paddlers, this website keeps much of those accessible and available to the world-wide dragon boat community.

So, just check it out by browsing through this section "Dragon Boat". You will find many further stories about how things developed.

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