In 2007, the U.S Navy Dragon Boat Team paddled in large 32-person boats for the “opening” annual race that occurred on May 5 of each year on the island of Okinawa, Japan. Eventually, the love of “Haari” (Okinawan for Dragon Boat) inspired the women on that team to paddle more than just one race per year. These paddlers wanted to live the culture and beauty of Okinawa Dragon Boat Racing so they formed a smaller group from the 2007 U.S. Navy Dragon Boating team now known as “The Summer Dragons.”

The Summer Dragons trained and practiced with their brother team, “the Japanese Naval team,” who supplied knowledge, handmade 10-person wooden boats, a kajitori (turner), and their White Beach Port – along with a demand for perfection. Many women would drive over an hour to get to the port twice a week to practice three things: correct form, synchronization, and power. Neighbors used to laugh at the American team because foreigners just “didn’t do” the local races, but they earned their respect with each win at the local ports. The Okinawans appreciated that the Summer Dragons loved the sport and eventually the locals would cheered them on!

The team became well-known and began to make friends and competitors alike. They invested in their own boat and practiced 2-3 times a week for the weekly Sunday race. They loved every minute of it. After 10 years, the Summer Dragons are still going strong. They continue to be a part of the U.S Navy Team and will paddle with honor under the name on May 5, but starting May 6 of every year, the Summer Dragons form again and compete in the local races.

The Summer Dragons are a mix of active duty Navy and Marines, wives of service members, teachers, mothers, civilians, all whom have come together because of this amazing sport. New gals who have the same drive and love or the sport, culture, and experience join all the time.

This year, the Summer Dragons are holding their 10th Anniversary at the 2017 Colorado Dragon Boat Festival. 20 women are coming from all over the world to paddle just one more time. Women from all ten years are represented on the team and cannot wait to experience the Dragon Boat culture in Colorado!


Hello Friends!

Help Colorado Dragon Boat Festival (CDBF) #powerthedragonboat this year by participating in Colorado Gives Day: December 6, 2016! Schedule your donations TODAY or set up a recurring donation to help us reach our fundraising goals.


Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy in Colorado through online giving. Once you give online, encourage your friends and family! And use our hashtag to spread the word! #powerthedragonboat

Here are a few things you help power when you give to CDBF:

1. Boat maintenance, safety equipment, and paddles 13th ANNUAL COLORADO DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL
2. Performers, stages, cultural exhibits, and graffiti murals bridging hope
3. Image design contest Dragon Boat Poster
4. and the Film festival – a celebration of Asian cinemacdfflogo-withtext

All donations over $100 will receive a dragon boat pin and paddle, your name on our website, and in our program book! All donations are tax-deductible. cdbf-donor-pin

Since the Holidays and the gift-giving season is just around the corner, please use The Smile program donates 0.5% of the cost of eligible items to a non-profit of your choice! The first time you go, fill out your Amazon username and password, then choose the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival ( as the charitable organization you want to support.

Thank you again for choosing to support CDBF! We are grateful for your kindness and your willingness to help us #powerthedragonboat!


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And the winners are….

Saturday Flag Catching Division

Rec A

Gold: CU Boulder
Silver: Ice Dragons
Bronze: Lightway Lightning

Rec B

Gold: A-Town Avengers
Silver: StewardSHIP
Bronze: Janus Argonauts

Rec C

1st Place: Stanley Sailors

Saturday Hong Kong 120m Division


Gold: Red Dragons
Silver: PASCO Fighting Dragons
Bronze: Phantom Dragons


Gold: Mutineers – Trade Winds
Silver: Adaptive Adventures Blue Team #1
Bronze: Agua Libre

Novice A

1st Place: Ice Dragons

Novice B

1st Place: The Green Line

Saturday Hong Kong 500m Division


Gold: PASCO Fighting Dragons
Silver: CU Denver Lynx
Bronze: Red Dragons


Gold: Mutineers – Trade Winds
Silver: Phantom Dragons
Bronze: That One Team

Novice A

1st Place: Adaptive Adventure Blue Team #1

Novice B

1st Place: Geeks of the Four Seas

Sunday Flag Catching Division

Rec A

Gold: HaiLite
Silver: Red Dragons
Bronze: Mission In Motion

Rec B

Gold: Seas the Dragon
Silver: Geeks of the Four Seas
Bronze: Bozeman Dragon Boaters

Rec C

1st Place: Denver Curling Club

Sunday Hong Kong 250m Division


Gold: PASCO Fighting Dragons
Silver: That One Team
Bronze: Mutineers – Trade Winds


Gold:Phantom Dragons
Silver: CU Denver Lynx
Bronze: CU Boulder

Novice A

1st Place: Seas the Dragon

Novice B
1st Place: Agua Libre


The Mile High Dragonboat Race Club has developed an iPhone App for races, so teams and their supporters can follow the competition’s times and standings in real time!

Click here to download the app, or better yet, aim your iPhone’s QR Code reader here:




Because it’s the year of the Fire Monkey on the Chinese Lunar calendar, we’ve come up with a way for you to monkey around at CDBF by hiding 12 monkeys throughout the festival! We’ll be posting clues on Facebook, and your mission is to post selfies with each monkey in its location during the festival with the #CDBF2016 and the hashtag attached to the monkey, and then upload a collage of all the selfies after the festival with #cdbfmonkey2016 and all 12 of the monkeys’ hashtags. You can use Facebook or Instagram.

Shoot pictures using mobile phone cameras, or cameras with access to Wi-Fi connections to the Internet – posing at the Festival with the monkeys. Next, participants must upload their original collage of the 12 stuffed animal monkeys to his/her social media platform. Participants MUST tag their collages with 13 hashtags: #CDBF2016 and hashtag associated on the monkey (so CDBF can view and judge the selfies).

There will be four (4) winners, and each will receive a $50 VISA gift card.

Read the full rules here. By entering this contest, you have read the full rules and agree to its contents.