Dragon Boat Israel (DBI) is a joint Canada-Israel initiative introducing the sport of dragon boat racing to Israel. Dragon boat racing is a dynamic team sport that originated in China centuries ago, but is now quickly gaining popularity around the world.
Several members of a Canadian dragon boat team thought it would be fun to combine their love of dragon boat racing with their love of Israel, and DBI came to life. Not only is dragon boat racing a fun and exciting team sport, but many festivals also take the opportunity to raise money for charitable organizations. DBI is proud to have The Hebrew University of Jerusalem as its charitable partner.
A wildly successful inaugural festival featuring 39 teams took place in May of 2012, with 20 Israeli teams and 19 from abroad competing over three days. We had Jews, Christians, Muslims and Druze participants, all competing together! As well as having a tremendous amount of fun, we surpassed our fundraising goal, raising over $50,000 for Israeli charities.
Our Third International Festival just finished at the end of May 2015 on southern tip of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret) at Yarden Kinneret, which is right at the mouth of the Jordan River. Check back soon for photos and results from this year’s competition.
Meet our Champions
One of our aims when we started DBI was to introduce a whole new sport to Israel. Before we showed up in 2012, no one had ever put a dragon boat on the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). To our delight, Israelis took it like, well, ducks to water. One of the teams, called Ohalo College at the time, raced to an impressive second place over-all.
They renamed themselves the Ohalo Dolphins and in 2013, returned to become the new champions. At the beginning of September, they achieved their goal of participating in the World Club Crew Championships in Ravenna, Italy. We couldn’t be prouder of all they have already accomplished and of their drive to succeed. This is the first time an Israeli team participated in an international dragon boat festival outside of Israel. The Dolphins represent the best ideals of Israel and of dragon boating – women and men, Christian, Jews, Muslims and Druze – paddling together as one team.
Want to learn more about us?
Take a look around the site. You can click on one of the links to the right to learn more about dragon boat racing.