Our objective is to promote the rapidly growing sport of dragon boat racing in the New England area. We foster team building at all levels of competition, encourage health and fitness, and set out to establish a long-lasting relationship with the community.
Our vision is to spread awareness of the sport’s multicultural heritage and go beyond our horizons by partaking in traditional dragon boat races throughout the water festival season. We invite new friends and their families to explore the ancient tradition of blessings and goodwill that encompasses dragon boat racing. As a group stemming from diverse backgrounds, we wish to provide mentorship to upcoming generations.
Rhode Island Phoenix took root in July of 2015 with its first race under the name Black Widow, an all-female team. A 3rd place victory was achieved at the DK Canoe Race Festival, using a five-person canoe at the Holiday Acres Camping Resort in North Scituate, RI. The journey continued in Lowell, MA that same year with members assisting the Trairatanaram Temple team in competition at the 19th Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival. Long and narrow classical wooden boats were utilized in the races. The team was able to take home 3rd place.
In August of 2016, Rhode Island Phoenix was officially formed as a co-ed team and entered the 20th Annual Southeast Asian Water Festival in Lowell, MA. Although the team did not place that year, team members experienced a great thrill and the ability to test the waters to further hone their skills.
July of 2017 marked a turning point for Rhode Island Phoenix, as the team took part in the canoe races at the first Southeast Asian Water Festival held in Woonsocket, RI. Competing with a predominantly female crew (6 females, 4 males), team members challenged the odds and delivered tremendous success. Rhode Island Phoenix placed 2nd out of 14 teams. The season continued with participation in the races at Lowell’s 21st Southeast Asian Water Festival in August, where the team secured 3rd place. In September, Rhode Island Phoenix entered to compete in the RI Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival in Pawtucket, RI. Racing in a mixed division of 6 female and 14 male paddlers, a drummer, a flag catcher and a steersperson, the dragon boat held a total of 23 people. With commendable effort Rhode Island Phoenix placed 3rd in the Lion Division. The final race of the 2017 season took place two weeks following the Pawtucket festival. Joining forces with New England Top Gun at the inaugural Worcester Dragon Boat Festival held in Worcester, MA, the team placed 3rd overall in the club division.
Nakalath was established in the summer of 2014. Also known as Payanak, Naga or Nak; a mythical serpent that rules the water kingdom. According to legends, these divine beings are the protectors of Laos. The name was chosen to represent our cultural background. Our expedition started at the DK Canoe Race Festival, building bonds between a circle of brothers through our first race. Although we did not place, our ambition only fueled our hunger. The energy of team Nakhalath captured the hearts of many people. Members of at least 5 teams in the DK Canoe Race, had united to compete in the RI Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival in Pawtucket, RI. There, we surpassed experience teams making it to the finals. We lost to the defending champs by no more than 5 seconds. Thereafter, many campaigns were launched for the years to come. Until 2017, we joined team RI Phoenix participating in the Lowell and Pawtucket events. Together we will continue our mission to inspire others, preserve our traditions, and unite as one.