The annual Gainesville-Hall County Dragon Boat Championship originally scheduled for May 1 at Lake Lanier Olympic Park has been postponed, possibly until October. “I have polled some of the teams who have competed in this previously and they are just not ready to do this,” said Jim O’Dell who organizes dragon boat events for the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club.

“The biggest concern is the sharing of equipment and the close quarters inherent with this sport,” he said. “The thought of having this race with half-filled boats crossed my mind though financially it does not make sense for the team or for us.”

O’Dell added that the Spring Break Dragon Boat Training Camp is still on April 8-11, although it is smaller than hoped for. The difference with the camp, he said is that “most folks attending have their own paddles so the only thing really to be concerned with as far as sharing are seats to sit on. We’ll have mostly half-filled boats and this will allow for better video technique critique. We will be requesting all participants to mask-up when indoors for video review.”

As of mid-March, the biggest dragon boat competition in the region was still slated for Sept. 11. The Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival will celebrate its 25th anniversary at Lake Lanier Olympic Park after postponing the event last year.