Before I arrived there were some preliminary races and apparently the crews were having difficulty controlling the boats and that resulted in some collisions. So in their wisdom the organizers removed the dragon heads from the prows of the boats. Crews still had difficulty controlling the boats so the dragon tails were removed. Now they were paddling regular canoes with a drum and checked patterns on the body.
The reason the crews were having difficulty controlling the boats is... the boats are new and the race crews had never practiced in them. Also the new boats are made of fiberglass cutting the weight by something like 1500lbs. This changed the dynamics of how they needed to paddle, which side of the boat the paddlers needed to be on (how they needed to more evenly distribute the power paddlers) and the result was that there were lots of problems for the race crews.
|Some of my fellow photographers.|
|The boat to the far right began to drift to the left and nearly collided with the other two boats in the race.|
|At the finish line the boat crew must grab the flag or they will be disqualified.|
|William brought his "cannon" today.|