Scotties Place in Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival

The time was six o’clock. In. The. Morning. Scotties from all over campus had gathered in front of Main, huddled around boxes of donut holes and fresh coffee. As promised in an email the night before, student-favorite CC (Carolyn Cornelison, Director of Recreation and Intramurals) was “cheerful in the morning,” and her enthusiasm was infectious. Why had 44 students agreed to be not only awake, but dressed and ready to go, at such an ungodly hour? Dragon boat racing. 

The Lake Lanier Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival has been around for 24 years, an international phenomenon that has seen the popularity of the sport grow with the festival. Over 80 teams raced in long, skinny boats, holding 22 people each (or slightly less). Ten rows of two people paddle, with one person at the front drumming and one at the back, steering. Preparation for the race varied, with some teams going so far as to bring their own paddles (to go with their matching jackets) while others, (like Agnes) learned basic rowing terms moments before boarding the boat. 

Agnes Scott was divided into two teams, arriving at the lake in time for a beautiful sunrise. A tent was set up (purple, natch), with a flag featuring a cartoon Scottie, fluttering in the gentle morning breeze. The two teams lined up and paddled into starting position. At the tone from the loudspeaker, they were off! 

Scotties come to win, not to play, and despite the two teams’ lack of training, they gave it their all. Cheers of “When I say Agnes you say Scott” and “Cheer, cheer, cheer for old Agnes Scott” could be heard echoing across the lake, which resulted in a very respectable time (despite placing last in the first race). After this first race, it was time to explore the festival. 

There were plenty of vendors present, selling chicken and beef on sticks, boba, lemonade, sugarcane juice, and more. There were also tents for some of the corporate sponsors with teams present, such as: Delta, Coke, AT&T, and more. Much to the delight of every college student present, Kimberly-Clark was there, handing out free rolls of toilet paper and paper towels. 

The second race went much better for both teams, each placing second-to-last instead of last. (With Agnes Scott beating Clemson!) After watching the incredibly skilled dancers perform the dragon dance, Scotties were ready to leave. A huge thanks to CC and Jennifer with Recreation and CSI for sponsoring such an amazing event! This has become a yearly event, so make sure to check it out next year during Scottie Welcome.