The dragon boat is traditionally a long thin canoe type boat powered by the people who paddle onboard. Boats are decorated with distinctive Chinese dragon heads and tails and the boats carry a drum to lead the crew
The 40-foot boats can hold up to 16 paddlers (plus one drummer at the helm). Each team will compete in three heats along the River Aire from Crown Point Bridge to Leeds Bridge, passing Brewery Wharf, Centenary Bridge and The Calls.
The Dragon Boat festival originated in China to honour the poet Chu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River in a protest of the political injustice during the third century. Legend says that as the locals tried to rescue him they beat drums and threw dumplings into the river to prevent fish from eating him