Toni Harp

New Haven Hosts 4th Annual Dragon Boat Regatta

It was a big day on the New Haven waterfront on Saturday. The Elm City hosted its 4th annual Dragon Boat Regatta.

For many of the rowers on the Long Island Sound on Saturday morning, it was their first time in this kind of boat.

"It was a lot of fun. We had a good cadence and consistent power," said Jeff Ott, of "The Wheel Good Paddlers."

For the first time this year, the Regatta was at the brand new Canal Dock Boathouse.

"Have a great time and welcome to New Haven," New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said. "It's gorgeous and it's a wonderful place to enjoy New Haven."

There are 40 foot canoe-type boats with 20 towers, two in each of the rows. At the very end is the spot where the drummer sits to keep the rower's pace.

"My job is actually to just sync to them so as long as we're in sync then one by one as the boat goes back, you just stay together. That's all that matters," said Laura Campbell, of "Tuff Girls."

Campbell is part of "Tuff Girls" team from Hamden's Tuff Girl Fitness. They're the only all female team on the water.

"Women are powerful and strong and capable and don't doubt us. Sometimes you have to prove it," Christa Doran, the team captain of the "Tuff Girls" said.

Doran said regardless of their outcome, her team represents something much bigger and better than a trophy.

"It's just so amazing to have a group of people who have never done something like this before, who were scared to do this so they had to use their bravery to come out here and just do something that's unknown. That's really special," Doran added.

This year, for the first time, the "Wheel Good Paddlers" of the New Haven Bicycle club beat the three-time champions "Nightmare on Elm Street."

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