Drop by the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center for an introduction to dragon boat racing and recreational paddling. The San Leandro High School team is up and running with about 30 paddlers, and welcomes all East Bay students to join their practice sessions with the eventual goal of forming more teams representing other schools.
On-the-water training and prectice sessions are based at M-Dock in the Berkeley Marina, using the Berkeley Racing Canoe Center boats and equipment. In addition to the 10:30-12 Saturday practice, there is usually a Wednesday evening session from 6-7 pm.
Dragon boats are replicas of ancient Chinese river boats. The BRCC boats are 48 ft long (not counting the ornamental dragon head and tail) and propelled by up to 24 paddlers. There is an active local racing league with High School, college, adult and senior divisions. See the BRCC website for the full practice schedule - there are usually Saturday morning sessions at 9 and 10:30 in addition to the weekday evenings.
Annual membership in BRCC is free for high school students, $20 for college students ($100 for adults) and includes unlimited use of kayaks and an outrigger canoe.
Paddles and lifejackets provided, kids welcome if accompanied by parent. Dogs okay too, but it's usually better not to bring them on your first time out.