The beautiful and moving DragonBoat Beaufort Christening and Remembrance ceremonies were held at the Water Festival last Saturday afternoon. As the brand new 48’ dragon boat docked at Beaufort’s Downtown Marina, high priestess Mary Ann Mikell asked Dick Stewart to paint in the eyes in the traditional DragonBoat
“Awakening” ceremony for race readiness. His wife then poured Champagne over her bow, christened her “Braveheart” and pronounced her ready to race on her cancer survivor mission.
Once awakened, Braveheart put on an DragonBoat Exhibition of precision paddling and racing for Water Festival spectators highlighted by the traditional Survivor’s Ceremony. Each of the 20 paddlers, the Helm and the Drummer dropped a red carnation into the Beaufort River as the name of a friend or a loved one lost to this ubiquitous disease was called out to the crowd.
DragonBoat Beaufort is a nonprofit that sprang into being when several Beaufortonians saw the “Awaken
the Dragon” documentary winner at this year’s Beaufort Film Festival. In just under five months, a dynamic team has formed and raised enough money to buy their first boat to activate their mission of promoting physical and mental wellness among cancer survivors and their community. DragonBoat Beaufort currently fields a team of male and female cancer survivors and their supporters and is looking for new recruits for a second boat that has been pledged. The team will be competing in Lake Lanier, Ga., and Trophy Lake, Johns Island, festivals this September.
Here are some pictures from the event by Andrew Nicholls.